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I.D. 1204 



Prepared by the Geographical Section of the Naval Intelligence 
l)ivLrion, Naval Staff, Admiralty 



To be purchased through any Bookseller or directly from 

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Price 5s. net 

Printed under the authority of 

His Majesty's Stationery Office 

By Frederick Hall at the University Press, Oxford. 

T}l?A. d 



The first object of this volume is to retain a record of 
Roumania, in its geographical and allied aspects, as it was 
before the war, which has temporarily obscured or obliterated 
its economic importance, its normal social conditions, and 
other features. An attempt has been made to superpose 
upon the description of the country on these lines an indication 
of some of the more marked effects of the war upon it, and 
by these means to point to some of the more urgent problems 
of reconstruction and the direction in which, judging from 
previous conditions, such reconstruction may lead. But in 
view of the upheaval of the past two years, it is obvious that 
the information contained in this book in its present form 
must be in many respects partial and incomplete. 

The Admiralty will be glad to receive additions or cor- 




I. Geogkaphical Outlines 9 

General outlines — Carpathian Mountains — Region of 
the Hills — Wallachian Plain — Valley of the Danube — 
— Rivers — The Dobruja — Coast — Geology — Local time, 
calendar, and magnetic variation. 

II. Climate 37 

III. Vegetation and Animals 49 

IV. Inhabitants 55 

Origins and composition of population — Population 
statistics of the Kingdom of Roumania — Distribution 
of population — Characteristics and social conditions — 
Health conditions — Religion — Education — Language — 
Literature — Roumanians outside Roumania — Foreigners 
in Roumania. 

V. Government and Administration 101 

Central government — Local government — Judiciary. 

VI. History . 113 

Dacia — Slavs and Magyars — Principalities of Walla- 
chia and Moldavia — Turkish suzerainty — Phanariot 
regime — Russian influence — Union of Wallachia and 
Moldavia — Principality of Roumania — Roumanian in- 
dependence — Balkan War and Treaty of Bucharest, 1913 
—Roumania and the War, 1914-1918. 

VII. Resources, Trade, and Finance . . . 130 

Agriculture — Livestock — Land tenure — Forestry — 
Fishing — Minerals — Manufactures — Imports and Ex- 
ports — Shipping — Finance — Money. 

VIII. Topography and Communications . . . .173 

Towns and Villages — Roads — Railways — Telephones 
and telegraphs — Coast, harbours and anchorages — 
Lighthouses — Navigation of the Roumanian Danube. 


INDEX »'. . . .201 


A few well-known names of cities have been spelled accord- 
ing to their conventional form : such are Bucharest, Jassy, 
Galatz. Other names are spelled according to Dictionarul 
Statistic al Romdnei (1915). This work was initiated by the 
Director of General Statistics, Dr. L. Colescu. Its effect has 
been to make the spelling of place-names uniform throughout 
Roumania. The most extensive reform has been to change 
i into a, e.g. Tirgu Jiu has become Targu Jiu. 



General outlines — Carpathian Mountains — Region of the Hills — Wallaehian 
Plain — Valley of the Danube — Rivers — The Dobruja — Coast — Geology 
— Local time, calendar, and magnetic variation. 

General Outlines 

The name of Roumania is taken to eover the kingdom 
within the boundaries determined in 1913. Bessarabia was 
politically united to Roumania in 1918, and a large area 
outside the kingdom is inhabited, as will be seen, by Rou- 
manians, but it is not proposed to deal in detail with these 
territories in this volume. 

Roumania, which has an area of 53,489 square miles, lies 
between 43° 18' and 48° 20' north latitude, that is, roughly 
within the same parallels as France south of Paris, and between 
22° 28" and 29° 45' east longitude. The outlines of its physical 
features are on the whole comparatively simple. The Car- 
pathian mountains, which extend in the form of an arc along 
the north and west of the country, are broad and high in the 
north of Moldavia and in the west of Wallachia ; narrow and 
low in the central region which points towards the mouth 
of the Danube. Bordering the mountains is a hill country 
which in Moldavia extends as far as the Pruth, but in Wal- 
lachia passes without discontinuity into the plain farther to 
the south. There is only one break, or rather constriction, 
in this stretch of hills, and that is where the Carpathian chain 
has undergone its greatest change of direction, between Ploesti 
and Focsani. The plain which occupies the greater part of 
the remainder of Wallachia, rises somewhat steeply above the 
valley of the Danube in the south, but merges almost insensibly 
into the hill country in the north, except in the east, where 
the Sereth forms its northern boundary. The valley of the 


Danabe is a depression of no great breadth, bordered north 
and west by the plain, and east by the Dobruja, which lies 
between it and the Black Sea, and includes the delta of the 
river, a land of very recent formation, consisting mainly of 
swamps and lagoons. 

Traditionally and popularly Wallachia is divided into two 
parts, Oltenia or Little Wallachia west of the Olt, and Mun- 
tenia or Great Wallachia east of that river. These form 
a convenient division, which will be used in the descriptive 
sections below. 

Carpathian Mountains 

The following account of the Carpathians is confined to that 
part of the system which lies within the Roumanian frontier. 
In the extreme west of Wallachia several ranges which border 
the river Cerna run from the Danube in a NNE. direction. 
The Carpathians as a whole then bear more to the east, and 
the next group of mountains — called the mountains of Vulcan 
from the name of the chief pass across them — has a trend 
from WSW. to ENE. They are separated from the third 
group — the mountains of Paringu — by the wild gorge in which 
the Jiu makes its way through the Carpathian range. Farther 
east come the mountains of the Lotru, which extend as far as 
the Olt, a river which, like the Jiu, has a transmontane 
source. The Fagaras, which lie between the Olt and the 
Dambovita, are one of the most important groups in the whole 
range and constitute a formidable barrier between north and 
south. The next link in the chain is taken up by the moun- 
tains of Bucegi, which lie between the Dambovita and the 
Prahova and contain the most easterly extension of the 
crystalline massif in Wallachia. 

East of the Prahova and south of the Mlcov (which 
separates Wallachia from Moldavia) the Carpathians make 
their great bend towards the north. The character of the 
range changes in other respects, and the region, which may 
be called the mountains of Buzau, is one of transition between 
the Wallachian and Moldavian Carpathians. 


To the north of the Milcov it is less easy to distinguish 
between different parts of the Carpathian range. Three prin- 
cipal groups may, however, be noted south of Ceahlau. The 
mountains of Vrancea lie between the Milcov and the Oituz ; 
the mountains of Oituz between the Oituz and the Trotus ; 
and the mountains of Tarcau between the Trotus, the Bistrita, 
and the Bicaz. 

To the north of the Bicaz the character of the Carpathian 
range again changes. The mountains of Ceahlau are formed 
of ancient rock and accordingly differ in many respects from 
the sandstone ranges farther south. North of Ceahlau the 
Roumanian share of the Carpathian country extends more 
to the west, and many high peaks lie on either side of the 
Bistrita in the mountains to which that river gives its name. 

Wallachian Carpathians 

The mountains of the Cerna lie mainly to the east of the 
river of that name. In the north the picturesque Piatra 
Closani (4,681 ft.) stands in the middle of a plateau which is 
connected with the Vulcan mountains and varies in height 
from 1,600 to 2,000 ft. Another range commences in the 
north with the Oslea, descends the left bank of the Cerna and 
continues to the Danube. Both regions are of limestone, 
and their topography is essentially that of a limestone country. 
The Motru has cut a savage gorge in the eastern flank of 
Piatra Closani. Its valley, which is full of huge stones, 
contains many caves, and a tributary, the Dry Motru, pursues 
an underground course for several miles. The Oslea and its 
continuations are cut up by the Cerna into a series of im- 
practicable gorges, and the whole region is one of savage 
beauty. In the lower part of the valley the limestone stands 
out in magnificent escarpments. The small spa of Herculesbad 
recalls one of the common traditions that a dragon was slain 
by Hercules in a neighbouring cave. The high chain of 
Godeanu borders the right bank of the Cerna and frequently 
attains a height of 7,000 ft. It is formed of crystalline rock. 
Taken as a whole, the mountains of the Cerna are less massive 


and present less of a barrier to communication than any other 
part of the Transylvanian Alps. 

The mountains of Vulcan extend eastward as far as the 
valley of the Jiu. Topographically they have the appearance 
of a high plateau sloping gently towards the south, but falling 
by an abrupt slope of over 3,000 ft. towards the valley of the 
Roumanian Jiu. The range rises to no great height, the 
highest summits, Straja, Siglau, and others, being about 
6,000 ft., but it everywhere forms a serious barrier to com- 
munication. Owing to the slope of the land the drainage is 
to the south, and the tributaries of the Jiu have cut many 
deep valleys in the plateau. The massif as a whole consists 
of crystalline rocks, but some of the summits along the crest 
are of limestone formation. The most frequented route across 
the range in former times was by the Vulcan pass, which, not- 
withstanding its height (over 5,000 ft.), was preferred to the 
impracticable gorge of the Jiu. But during more recent years 
all traffic has gone by the magnificent high road which has 
been constructed through the Jiu valley. 

The mountains of Paringu lie between the valley of the Jiu 
in the west and the valley and pass of Oltetu in the east. The 
main range runs from Paringu to Varf u Papusa without falling 
more than three times below 6,500 ft. To the south the 
secondary ranges have a gentle slope, but to the north they 
fall away in escarpments varying in height from 600 to 1,200 
or 1,300 ft. As seen from the south, the range appears as 
a great rounded mass, with few peaks or depressions in the 
general level of its crest-line. On the northern slope, on the 
other hand, the great cirques of Rosiile, Scliveiu, and Galcescu, 
with their splendid escarpments and innumerable lakes, show 
the effect which glacial action has had upon the region. In 
these districts the scenery has a savage beauty somewhat 
similar to that found in the Pyrenees. With the exception of 
the Mandra (8,297 ft.), none of the peaks exceeds 8,000 ft. 
The range is not an impassable one, and a good road leads 
from Novaci to the slopes of Papusa, whence the muleteers 
can go by the Urda pass to the valley of the Lotru. This 


route is also used by the shepherds who take their sheep 
in summer to the pasture lands on the upper slopes of the 

The mountains of Lotru extend eastward as far as the valley 
of the Olt. Two ranges, which seldom exceed 6,000 ft. in 
height, run eastward, enclosing between them the longitudinal 
valley of the Lotru. The southern range is the higher and 
contains the peaks of Balota (7,000ft.) and Breota (6,434ft.). 
Most of the region consists of crystalline schists, and the hills 
have the regular outline usually associated with such rocks. 
In the west, near the Paringu, there are masses of limestone, 
which give a picturesque appearance to such districts as the 
valleys of the Latorita and Repedea, where the white lime- 
stone escarpments rise above the green fir woods. The valley 
of the Lotru itself is the centre of a considerable timber 
industry, but is one of the most isolated districts in the whole 

The mountains of the Fagaras, which lie between the Olt 
and the Dambovita, are a formidable barrier to communica- 
tion. Their general character is that of a system of two 
chains forming an angle of 20° to 30° enclosing a depression 
with an average height of 3,600 to 3,900 ft. 

The northern chain is the higher, but it falls towards its 
eastern extremity, where it is joined to the southern chain 
by the elevated peak of Iezeru. The former chain is called 
from its highest point (8,333 ft.) the chain of Negoi, and 
from whatever side it is viewed always presents an Alpine 
aspect. Both sides are cut up by wild cirques whose floors 
are covered with lakes and encumbered with morainic debris. 
The crest-line is serrated, scarped on both sides, and runs zig- 
zag from peak to peak and from col to col. From Berevoescu 
to Cocuriciu it seldom falls below 6,500 ft., and the average 
height of the cols is only about 1,000 ft. below that of the 

The southern range has nowhere the wild grandeur of 
the northern. In the massif of Iezeru it rises to 7,900 ft., 
but apart from that peak, the Cozia, and the sister peaks of 


Frunta and Ghitu, it is of no great importance. Nevertheless, 
it forms a barrier which renders access to the central depres- 
sion difficult, and the muleteers climb crests of nearly 5,000 ft. 
in height to avoid the wild gorges in which the rivers flow. 

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the significance of the 
Fagaras as a barrier to communication than the fact that 
here more than anywhere else all the summits have two 
names. In every case the Transylvanian name is quite 
different from the Roumanian. 

The mountains of Bucegi, which lie between the Dambovita 
and the Prahova, may be regarded as a transition zone 
between the Wallachian and Moldavian Carpathians, and it 
is impossible to give any general description of their surface 
features which would apply to all parts of the region. North 
of Rucaru, in the valley of the Dambovita, the rivers cut their 
way through the plateau in almost impenetrable gorges, known 
to the inhabitants as Cheile. Where there are depressions 
in the plateau the streams broaden, and small areas of fertile 
soil are found. Frequently the rivers disappear in smaller 
holes, to reappear in caves lower down. One of the most 
remarkable of these caves is that of Schitu Ialomita in the 
valley of the Ialomita. The Piatra Prisloapele and the 
Piatra Craiului both belong to this type of country, to which 
the name of Karst is frequently applied. 

The huge mass of Bucegi, from which the whole district 
takes its name, presents another type of topography. The 
conglomerates of which this mass is formed have resisted 
erosion and stand out in huge escarpments, though in places 
where they have been much affected by glaciation there are 
many cirques separated by ridges with almost vertical sides. 
Omu, which is the highest summit of the region (8,235 ft.), 
is typical of the Bucegi. 

The massif of Leota, farther to the south-west, presents 
a third type of country. The hills have the same rounded 
forms as in the country farther west, and this is accounted 
for by the fact that the Leota is the last extension eastward 
of the crystalline massif of Walla chia. 


Because of this diversity in their structure the mountains 
of Bucegi do not offer the same formidable barrier to com- 
munication as much of the country farther to the west. Two 
important routes — one by the Torzburger pass and the other 
by Predeal — lead across the Carpathian range to Kronstadt. 

The mountains of Buzau present all the characteristics of 
the Moldavian Carpathians. They seldom exceed 5,000 ft. 
above sea-level, and they generally appear as lines of rounded 
crests, all of which reach nearly the same height. A few 
massifs stand out in relief, such as the Czukas, Taturu, Siriu, 
and Penteleu, and on their slopes there are frequently steep 
escarpments. From the top of any one of them the remainder 
of the Carpathians appear as a great undulating plateau, 
deeply dissected by steep-sided valleys, of which those of the 
Buzau, Doftana, and Teleajenu provide facilities for natural 
routes into the mountain zone. The region as a whole does 
not possess the same variety as the country to the west of 
Predeal, but it is more diversified than the Moldavian part 
of the range south of Ceahlau. On the higher slopes of such 
mountains as Siriu and Penteleu the grass-lands are much 
utilized for pasturage. 

Moldavian Carpathians 

South of the Ceahlau the Carpathians in Moldavia present 
great uniformity in outline, and there is an almost entire 
absence of orographic individuality. The mountains consist 
of sandstone, and the crystalline rocks of Wallachia are 
entirely wanting It is to this difference in geological struc- 
ture that are due the variety of outline in the one region 
and the monotony of the other. Several distinct divisions 
may, however, be recognized, of which the following are the 
most important. 

The mountains of Vrancea lie between the Milcov and the 
Oituz. South of the Putna the general character of the 
region is that of an undulating plateau. Its height varies as 
a rule from 2,000 to 4,000 ft., but in the west it rises to about 
5,000 ft. Only in the valleys of the more important rivers 


does it fall much below 2,000 ft. In the whole of this region 
there is no well-marked central range, but among the principal 
heights are Odobesti (3,284 ft.) in the east and Coza (5,357 ft.) 
in the west. 

To the north of the Putna and as far as the Oituz the 
Roumanian part of the Carpathians becomes narrower and 
lower. The greater part of the region lies between 2,000 and 
3,500 ft. in height, and only in comparatively few places does 
it exceed 3,500 ft. North of the river Casin the land rises 
to 3,828 ft. in Magura Casinului, and the various ranges 
radiating from this peak form the chief heights in that part 
of the country. 

The mountains of Oituz lie between the river of that name 
and the Trotus. The chief point of difference from the 
country farther south lies in the slope of the land, which is 
decidedly greater. In the west the land rises to heights of 
about 5,000 ft., while in the east it falls to between 2,000 and 
2,500 ft. In the basin of the Trotus it is much less. To the 
east of the Trotus — flowing from north to south — the land 
rises to a well-marked ridge, Mount Berzuntu, which runs 
parallel to the river at an average height of about 3,000 ft. 

The mountains of Tarcau lie between the Bicaz, the Bis- 
trita, and the Trotus. In the southern part of this area the 
general trend of the rivers is from north to south, while in 
the northern part it is rather from west to east. As a result, 
there are in the south several well-defined ranges with a meri- 
dional trend and a height varying as a rule from 3,600 to 
4,250 ft. Farther to the north the topography is less well 
defined and the country is on the whole somewhat lower. 
To the east of the lower part of the Tarcau the land is 
generally below 3,300 ft., but in the west many heights are 
over 3,300 and some over 4,000 ft. 

In all this region between the Milcov and the Bicaz the 
general appearance of the country is almost everywhere the 
same. Hill and valley succeed one another with monotonous 
regularity. Superficial differences in the form of the land are 
all but concealed by the forests, which almost everywhere 


cover the soil. The valleys of the larger rivers are more 
deeply cut into the surface and alone tend to break up the 
uniformity of the region. 

The mountains of the Ceahlau, which lie to the north of the 
Bicaz and the great bend of the Bistrita, differ essentially 
from the southern part of the Moldavian Carpathians. A massif 
of ancient rock extends from Bukovina into Moldavia and 
terminates in the mass of Ceahlau, which has a height of 
6,247 ft. From its summit the land falls away in all directions 
to the Bicaz, the Bistrita, and the Bistricioara, which limit 
the region. The rivers everywhere lie in deep valleys, and 
the slope downward is generally steep. The Ceahlau with its 
isolated position and rugged contour stands in marked contrast 
with the country farther south. 

Mountains of the Bistrifa. — To the north of the Ceahlau 
the Roumanian section of the Carpathians becomes much 
broader, because the frontier has been drawn to the west of 
the mountain country. The whole of the region is highly 
mountainous, and many peaks reach heights varying from 
4,500 to 5,500 ft. Through it the Bistrita cuts its way in 
a deep valley. In all directions the country is deeply ravined, 
and in its generally rugged character resembles the Ceahlau. 

Region of the Hills 
A belt of hills surrounds the whole of the Carpathian arc in 
Roumania, though it is much narrower in the part between 
Ploesti and Focsani than elsewhere. In appearance it is 
rather like an immense plateau which has been much cut up 
by the rivers that traverse it. In Wallachia it slopes towards 
the south and varies in height from 650 to 2,000 ft. above 
sea-level, while its greatest breadth, which is attained in the 
neighbourhood of the Olt, is about 50 miles ; in Moldavia it 
extends as far as the Pruth. Several important subdivisions 
may be recognized. 

Sub-Carpathian Depressions 
In places, more especially in Olteniaand in parts of Moldavia, 
this belt of hills is separated from the Carpathians by a series 



of relative depressions, which are of considerable importance, 
especially from the economic point of view. In Oltenia they 
are particularly well marked between the Motru and the Jiu, 
where there are the depressions of Tismana, Bradiceni, and 
Targu Jiu. These are separated from one another by narrow 
ridges of land, 100 to 260 ft. high, so that the whole zone con- 
sists of a continuous series of ascents over wooded heights and 
of descents into flat-bottomed plains. The region is therefore 
in marked contrast with the hill country farther to the south, 
where the valleys are narrow and are separated from one 
another by broad masses of upland. The plains have been 
built up by the alluvial material deposited by tiie rivers, and 
even yet where they debouch from the mountains the rivers 
in this area tend to divide into several branches. Their beds 
are not deep, and in times of flood the surrounding area is 
often marshy. To the east of the Jiu the zone has the charac- 
teristics of a terrace rather than of a depression ; the plains 
are relatively small, and are barely separated from one another 
by almost imperceptible ridges. Moreover, the rivers which 
flow across it, such as the Oltetu at Polovragi and the Lun- 
covita at Vaideeni, have deeply entrenched valleys and some- 
times flow upon the underlying rock. Farther to the east, 
the plain of Campulung marks the last extension of the sub- 
Carpathian depressions in Walla chia. In Moldavia they 
are found along the borders of the Carpathians proper, the 
most striking examples being the depressions of the Trotus 
at Targu Ocna, of the ^usita at Soveja, and of the Putna at 

High Plateau of Mehedinfi 
The high plateau of Mehedinti, to use the name applied by 
a Roumanian geologist to the country east of the mountains 
of the Cerna and west of the Motru, differs considerably from 
the remainder of the hill region. Its general appearance is 
that of a basin with an average height of about 1,450 ft., 
slightly concave, and tilted towards the south. In the north 
there are considerable areas of limestone, and the country 
round the town of Ponoarele is famous for its caverns, lakes, 


.and natural bridges. Dolines (a kind of swallow-hole) are so 
numerous that they have given their name to the town 
(ponor = doline). In their vicinity there are often patches of 
fertile soil. Away from the limestone the land has been deeply 
dissected by the rivers, and steep ravines and rounded ridges 
are the characteristic features of the country. The crystalline 
rocks have weathered down into a poor soil, and the region is 
one of the least inviting in Roumania. 

Hills of Oltenia 

The hills of Oltenia, lying between the Motru and the Jiu, 
are the remains of a plateau which has been much dissected 
by the rivers that flow across it. In passing along the valleys 
of any of these rivers the traveller sees high hills rising on 
either hand. These are frequently deeply ravined, and some- 
times they are more or less detached from the surrounding 
uplands. On leaving the valley and climbing the neighbouring 
hills he will find himself on an undulating plateau usually 
forested to such an extent that the view on all sides is inter- 
rupted. The only breaks in this plateau are caused by valleys 
of varying depth, which continually compel the traveller to 
descend and ascend. Certain contrasts may, however, be noted 
between the northern and southern margins of the region. 
In the former the land is more hilly and rises to between 
1,600 and 2,000 ft., while the river- valleys are only about 
600 ft. above sea-level ; in the latter the elevation does not 
exceed 1,000 ft., and the valleys are broader and more 

There are two well-marked terraces on the slopes of the 
valleys throughout the region, which are of considerable 
importance from the economic point of view. The lower 
terrace is usually between 65 and 160 ft. above the bottom 
of the valley. As the valley extends southward the terrace 
broadens out and gradually unites with the great Wallachian 
plain. It consists of gravels covered over with alluvial soil, 
and is more or less deeply cut into by the rivers. Both 
terraces are well marked in the valleys of the Jiu, the Gilort, 

B 2 


and the Oltetu, where they provide practically the whole of 
the cultivable land. On the lower one also the main roads 
and railways are built. 

Hills of Muntenia 

From the Olt to the Milcov the region of the hills stretches 
for a distance of over 125 miles. In the west the belt is 
broader than in the east, and the valley of the Dambovita 
marks the line of demarcation between two very different 
regions west and east of the Dambovita. 

West of the Dambovita. — The belt of hills is still 30 to 
50 miles broad, and the last trace of the sub-Carpathian 
depressions at Campulung marks it off to some extent from 
the Carpathian range. The hills in the neighbourhood f)f the 
mountains are much higher than those which border the plain. 
In the north the country drained by the Topolog and the 
Arges with its tributaries presents an almost mountainous 
appearance. The slopes of the valleys are often steep, the 
difference between the beds of the rivers and the summits of 
the adjoining hills being about 650 ft. The number of parallel 
valleys is such that the intervening uplands are reduced to 
comparatively narrow strips, and the difficulties of communi- 
cation between east and west are consequently considerable. 
This part of the hill region is much more cut up by rivers 
and is much more irregular in outline than the corresponding 
part of Oltenia. The valleys are bordered by terraces similar . 
to those which exist in Oltenia and provide the greater part 
of the cultivable land, the intervening ridges being almost 
always wooded. 

To the south of this region of high hills comes one of much 
lower elevation, which gradually passes into the Wallachian 
plain ; it is triangular in form, the base resting along a line 
drawn from Pitesti to the mouth of the Topolog, while the 
apex lies in the neighbourhood of Slatina. It has the general 
appearance of a plateau sloping gently towards the south-east. 
The hills are low and the valleys, of which there are many, 
are not so deeply cut as farther to the north. The alluvial 


soils with which this region is covered, especially in the south, 
give it considerable importance for agriculture. 

East of the Ddmbovifa. — To the east of the Dambovi^a 
a marked change occurs. The breadth of the hills is reduced 
to less than 30 miles, and they are so much more closely 
attached to the Carpathians that it is frequently difficult to 
distinguish between them. A change in structure also begins 
to manifest itself. West of the Dambovita the hills owed 
their relief to erosion by the rivers alone, but in this region 
they have been involved in the folding of the rocks which led 
to the formation of the Carpathians. This has had important 
results, as it has brought much mineral wealth within reach 
of man. In the valleys of the Prahova and Teleajenu large 
quantities of salt and petroleum are found. On the whole 
the appearance of the country is much the same as in other 
parts of the hill region. In the valley of the Prahova, how- 
ever, the land has been imprudently deforested and the sides 
of the hills have been deeply ravined. In places, as in the 
valley of Slanic, rocks of salt glittering in the sun add variety 
to the landscape. 

Farther to the south, in the country round Ploesti, the hill 
country seems to disappear except for occasional swellings in 
the general level of the land. With the exception of these 
swellings, the district has the appearance of a plain which 
passes into the terraces of the river- valleys on the one hand 
and into the Wallachian plain on the other. Alluvial soils 
cover all but the highest parts of the land. 

Farther to the east, in the region drained by the Buzau and 
its tributaries, the most striking feature is the abrupt slope 
by which the hills overlook the Wallachian plain. A number 
of summits rise to heights between 2,000 and 2,500 ft. (Istrh)a 
2,486 ft.), and fall away rapidly to the plain. Seen from 
a distance they have all the appearance of mountains. To 
the north of the Buzau the slope is more gentle and the hills 
unite almost imperceptibly with the plain. This type of 
country extends as far north as Focsani ; much of it is covered 
with alluvial soil, and it is generally fertile. 


Hills of Moldavia 

In Moldavia the hills cover the whole country between the 
Carpathians and the Pruth. They seldom rise above 2,300 ft. 
in height except in the vicinity of the mountains, but on the 
other hand the land which falls below 650 ft. does not exceed 
15 per cent, of the whole area, while that below 300 ft. occurs 
only in the valleys of the Sereth and the Pruth. The whole 
region is in reality a plateau which has been much dissected 
by the rivers flowing across it. West of the Sereth it is 
higher than to the east and frequently lies between 1,500 
and 2,500 ft. above sea-level. Between the Sereth and the 
Pruth, on the other hand, it seldom exceeds 1,500 ft. and 
is generally considerably below it, the mean height probably 
being just under 1,000 ft. 

The Sereth and the Pruth, with their principal tributaries 
the Barlad, the Moldova, and the Bistrita, have a general 
trend from NNW. to SSE. These rivers flow as a rule in broad 
marshy valleys, the slopes of which rise, often by terraces, 
several hundred feet above the river. As in other parts of 
the hill country, the slopes are of considerable value both for 
settlement and communication. 

To the west of the Sereth many of the smaller rivers flow 
from west to east, and the hills which lie between their valleys 
have the same general direction. East of the Sereth many 
tributaries of the Sereth and the Pruth and of their affluents, 
the Barlad and the Bahluiu, have a southerly trend, and 
the crests of the hills run as a rule from north to south. 

The country between the Sereth and the Pruth is thus an 
immense region of hills and plateaus, between which there is 
no great difference of height. The higher parts of the country 
are still under forest ; the lower lands have been cleared to 
a considerable extent and are cultivated ; the larger valleys 
are generally swampy, while the adjoining terraces are suit- 
able for settlement. The loess with which the greater part 
of the surface is covered adds to the fertility of the region, 
but quickly absorbs all water which falls upon it. Springs 


are found as a rule on the slopes of the valleys where the loess 
comes in contact with the underlying and less permeable 
rocks. It is here, accordingly, that villages and towns are 
generally found. 

Wallachian Plain 

The Wallachian plain lies between the hill region and the 
valley of the Danube. In the south it rises abruptly above 
the latter, sometimes in cliffs 160 to 260 ft. high, while in the 
north it merges more or less insensibly with the hill country. 
Although termed a plain, it varies in height ; in the neigh- 
bourhood of Craiova its. surface is 650 ft. above sea- level, 
at Ploesti 300 ft., north of the Ialomita less than 150 ft. It 
is narrow in Oltenia and reaches its greatest breadth — 80 miles 
— in the east of Wallachia. 

The region has on the whole the appearance of a monotonous 
plain on which one may wander for hours without seeing any 
more prominent feature than a clump of dusty acacias. The 
land is fertile and is well cultivated, but human habitations 
are usually confined to the river-valleys, which are more or 
less deeply cut into the surface of the plain. The rivers them- 
selves are small relatively to the valleys in which they flow, 
and some of them entirely disappear during the summer 

In order to understand the general character of the region 
and the causes which determine the distribution and economic 
activities of its inhabitants, some reference must be made to 
its geological structure. It consists in the main of a great mass 
of gravels covered over by alluvial soils and loess. As a general 
rule these soils are thicker in the south than in the north, in 
the east than in the west. In the west they are too sandy 
and too much mixed with gravel to form loess. Between the 
Jiu and the Olt they become more loess-like in appearance, 
while farther to the east they pass into true loess similar to 
that found in the greater part of the hill country of Moldavia. 
Water on the surface sinks rapidly and joins the underlying 
water, which lies on the clays below the gravels, impregnates 


the gravels at the base of the loess, and rises through the loess 
itself to a height varying according to the level of the under- 
lying clays and the actual configuration of the surface. 
It flows out in springs in all the great valleys and in every 
depression, and it can also be obtained from wells of varying 
depth. The number, varying locally, of the valleys, and the 
varying thickness of the covering of alluvial soil or loess, are 
thus facts of great geographical importance, and exercise an 
important control upon human activities within the region. 

To the west of the Jiu the geographical conditions are 
different. The average height of the plain is less than 350 ft., 
but it is covered by small ridges which, towards the west, 
become more and more definitely aligned in a direction run- 
ning from north-west to south-east. The region presents 
many of the characteristics of a sand-dune country, and the 
ridges consist of fine sands which have only been partially 
consolidated. The surface is treeless, and the vegetation 
consists of thistles, scabious, and similar plants. 

Between the Jiu and the Olt the country is a monotonous 
plain in which there is very little timber or water. Even the 
larger valleys, such as that of the Teslui, are sometimes dry. 
Near the Danube these characteristics are more pronounced 
than they are north of Craiova, where the steppe is occasion- 
ally interrupted by clumps of trees. 

East of the Olt, steppe conditions become still more marked, 
but a distinction may be drawn between those parts which 
border the hills and those which border the Danubian valley. 
In the Baragan, which is the extreme type of the latter region, 
tumuli are the only elevations which break the dead monotony 
of the plains. In a few places clumps of acacias may be seen, 
but elsewhere jungles of thistles alternate with the cultivated 
land. In the neighbourhood of Bucharest, on the other hand, 
the country becomes more varied. The surface is slightly 
undulating, rivers are more numerous, here and there a lake 
may be seen upon the plain. The vegetation is also more 
varied, and clumps of oak appear in places and obstruct the 
view. The whole country east of the Olt belongs to one or 


other of these types. To the west of the Arges the northern 
part of the plain is fairly well dissected by rivers, though it 
has the disadvantage of possessing no mountain stream, and 
the valleys accordingly are neither so broad nor so deep as 
they are farther to the east. The vegetation is scanty, but 
oaks and other trees appear in the valleys. To the south the 
land becomes lower, but the valleys of the Calmatuiu, Vedea, 
and Teleorman are fairly deeply cut into it. 

That part of the plain which is drained by the Arges and 
its tributaries is in its northern parts one of the richest in 
Roumania. The slope of the land is considerable, and 
numerous streams flow across it and cut somewhat deeply 
into it. Conditions are very similar in the country drained 
by the Ialomita and its tributaries. In both districts the 
water-supply from rivers and springs is greater than else- 
where. South of Bucharest the plain decreases in height, but 
in other respects it is a continuation of the region farther to 
the north. 

In the Baragan, the appearance of which has already been 
indicated, conditions are very different, and everything com- 
bines to make that region, which lies between the Ialomita 
and the Danube, an almost perfect steppe. Nowhere is the ; 
thickness of the loess and of the underlying gravels so great. 
At Marculesti, for example, they have a thickness of 231 ft. 
The rainfall is low ; the water-table does not come within 
less than 65 ft. of the surface, and deep wells are necessary 
to reach it. The Baragan is not perfectly horizontal ; it is 
higher in the east and in the west, while the centre offers 
a slight concavity, running along a line from Calarasi to 
Ciulnita, where water is more easily obtained. The valley 
of the Mostistea is large, but contains only a series of small 
lakes which communicate with one another after heavy rains. 
On the slopes, however, where the loess comes into contact 
with the underlying clay, there are numerous springs and the 
water-supply is consequently abundant. 

North of the Ialomita the plain is lower than elsewhere, 
more than half of it being less than 150 ft. above sea-level. 


In former times, when precipitation was evidently much 
greater than at present, numerous valleys were cut in the 
loess, but, with the exception of the Buzau and the Ramnicu, 
the rivers which made them have been reduced in volume to 
such an extent that a continuous flow no longer exists. The 
valley of the Calmatuiu, for example, is little more than a 
succession of deep marshes connected by a mere thread of 
running water. Other valleys, of which there are a consider- 
able number, are occupied by lakes, the waters of which are 
frequently salt. These depressions in the surface of the loess 
are, as will be seen later, of considerable economic importance 
for whether they are occupied by rivers or lakes they offer 
facilities for sinking shallow wells, from which a good supply 
of water may be obtained. This is particularly the case in 
the more elevated districts near the hills, where the valleys 
are more numerous and where water is everywhere near the 

Valley of the Danube 

The valley of the Danube is bordered on the Bulgarian side 
by the escarpment of the Balkan foreland, which is frequently 
of considerable height, and on the Roumanian side by the cliffs 
of the Wallachian plain. As a rule its breadth varies from 
6 to 16 miles. Between the Iron Gates and Calafat the valley 
is relatively narrow, and little deposition is taking place. 
Below Calafat the character of the valley changes ; it becomes 
broader and the river wanders widely within it. The Danube 
itself is full of small islands and banks of sand, while in the 
valley the abandoned arms of the rivers become lagoons, and 
the intervening islands change into marshes at times of high 
water. In many places also a dense covering of willows helps 
to obscure the features of the land. So confused is the general 
appearance of the region with its islands and fluvial arms, 
that it is almost impossible to detect from the river the points 
at which some of its most important tributaries enter. 

Below Giurgiu the islands increase in number, while many 
small channels spread the flood waters of the river over 


a marshy plain. Lateral lakes become larger and broader. 
Lacu Grecilor, Lacu Boiana, and Lacu Calarasi are large 
sheets of water which have almost completely lost the elon- 
gated form characteristic of dead arms of the river. 

At Calarasi begins what is properly known as the Balta — 
a great stretch of fluvial arms, marshes, islands, and channels, 
which covers the ten or twelve miles of valley lying between 
the heights of the Dobruja on the one side and the loess cliffs 
of Baragan on the other. In all this region there are only two 
places where the river narrows to a single channel ; one is at 
Harsova, where the heights of the Dobruja push westward, 
and the other is between Braila and Galatz. 

The river is described in the Handbook of the River Danube, 
I.D. 01020, and in Chapter VIII of this volume some further 
particulars will be found. The delta is described in the 
section on the Dobruja near the end of the present chapter. 


The river systems of Wallachia and Moldavia present some 
striking differences. In Wallachia the drainage is effected by 
a number of rivers which flow more or less parallel one to 
another. The main streams follow the general lie of the land 
from north to south or south-east, and their tributaries which 
flow in the same general direction join at an oblique angle. 
Few rivers of any importance flow parallel to the general 
direction of the Carpathians. In Moldavia it is otherwise. 
The main rivers, the Pruth and the Sereth, with their great 
tributaries, the Barlad, Moldova, and Bistrita, run in a direc- 
tion more or less parallel to the general trend of the mountains, 
while a number of important tributaries, including the Bah- 
luiu, the Jijia, and the upper Barlad, are transverse and 
flow from west to east. As a result, the valley of the Sereth 
forms in Moldavia a great line of communication parallel to 
the Carpathians, while in Wallachia longitudinal movement 
is much more difficult and communications tend to run at 
right angles and not parallel to the mountain axis. 


Rivers of Wallachia 

The principal rivers of Wallachia are the Jiu, the Olt, the 
Vedea, the Arges, the lalomita, and the Buzau. Of these the 
Jiu, Olt, and Buzau rise beyond the principal crests of the 
Carpathians, while the Vedea has its source in the region of 
the hills. 

The Jiu has its origin in the basin of Petroseny in Transyl- 
vania, where it is formed by the confluence of several mountain 
torrents, and it is already a stream of some importance when 
it enters the Surduk or gorge of Lainici, by which it makes its 
way through the Carpathian range. In this defile, which is 
about 15 miles long, the river flows in an almost continuous 
series of cataracts, the average gradient being about 45 ft. 
per mile. The sides of the valley rise on either hand to heights 
of 1,500 ft. or more, while the bed of the river is sometimes 
not more than 30 to 50 ft. in breadth. When it opens out 
into the most important of the sub -Carpathian depressions at 
Targu Jiu it is joined by a number of important tributaries 
from the Carpathians, including the Susita, Bistrita, and 
Tismana upon its right bank, and the Amaradia Seaca upon 
its left. It is now an important river with a bed over half 
a mile broad, while the valley, in which it follows a winding 
course, is about six miles wide. The valley becomes narrower, 
while the river is passing through the hill region, but expands 
again in the stretch between Filiasu and Craiova. In this 
stretch three important tributaries join the main river, the 
Gilort from the Paringu, the Motru from the mountains of 
Vulcan, and the Amaradia from the hill region. Below 
Craiova the Jiu winds in a valley which is about five miles 
broad and in which there are numerous dead arms overgrown 
with reeds. No further tributary joins the river, and it 
decreases in volume on its way to the Danube. 

The Olt rises in Hungary on the western slope of the Moldavian 
Carpathians, and has run nearly half its course when it enters 
Koumania by the defile of the Red Tower, 35 miles long. Its 
valley is narrow when passing through the first chain of the 


Fagaras, but broadens out in the depression of Titesti, where 
the Lotru flows in. The latter river with its tributaries comes 
from the high mountains of the Paringu and, during the period 
of melting snow, adds considerably to the volume of the Olt. 
The valley in which the Olt then makes its way through 
the Cozia is a gorge of the wildest description, and there * are 
numerous rapids in the course of the river. During its passage 
through the Red Tower defile, between Boicza and Calimanesti, 
the river has an average fall of about 13 ft. per mile. Below 
the latter town the Olt is nearly 1,600 ft. broad and from 10 
to 16 ft. deep. The valley rapidly becomes broader, and 
several important tributaries such as the Bistrita, the Lun- 
covita, and the Oltetu (with the Cuna) join the river on the 
right bank, while the Topolog flows in on the left. In this 
part of its course the river frequently divides and encloses 
low wooded islands. Below Slatina these characteristics 
become more marked ; the valley of the river is not less than 
6 miles in breadth, and a great number of small streams 
branch off and sometimes do not rejoin the river, The volume 
of the river is so great that notwithstanding its losses by 
evaporation and infiltration it is the only Wallachian river 
which retains its importance when it reaches the Danube. 

The Arges is an entirely Roumanian river. Its head- 
streams flow from the cirque in the northern heights of the 
Fagaras and unite to cut through the southern chain. Below 
Curtea de Arges its direction is from north-west to south- 
east, and it receives the Rau Doamnei, which drains the 
eastern part of the Fagaras and the massif of Iezeru, and 
flows in at Pitesti. The Dambovita, another tributary which 
also rises in the Iezeru, flows across the hills in a narrow 
valley, and after leaving them pursues a course parallel to the 
Arges, which it does not join till it reaches Budesti. Few 
rivers lose so much by evaporation and infiltration, and the 
river at Bucharest is much smaller than it is farther north. 

The Ialomita rises in the Bucegi and at first flows from 
north to south, but at Targoviste it begins to bend towards 
the east and flows across the Wallachian plain in an easterly 


direction, forming the northern border of the Baragan. The 
Prahova, with its tributaries the Doftana and the Teleajenu, 
and the Cricov are the only tributaries which it receives, 
and when it reaches the Danube its volume is considerably 
diminished. For the greater part of its course the Ialomita 
has a gentle slope across the Wallachian plain, and the terraces 
by which it is bordered are thickly populated. 

The Wallachian rivers do not all possess the same regime, 
but in general low water occurs in winter when precipitation 
is least abundant in Wallachia, and frequently takes place in 
the form of snow. High water commences at the end of 
winter if not earlier, the first thaws bringing down water from 
the hills and causing the lower courses of the rivers to rise. 
A little later the snow on the mountains begins to melt. 
Many of the rivers reach their maximum in March, but they 
remain high as a result of the abundant precipitation in spring 
and early summer. June, July, and August are generally 
marked by abrupt oscillations due to the tendency of the rivers 
to lose water by evaporation on the one hand and to rise as 
the result of sudden storms on the other. The average monthly 
maximum is in spring, except in the case of the Olt, whose 
regime is formed before it enters Roumania and which has its 
maximum in June and July. At the end of summer and at 
the beginning of autumn low water begins. 

Rivers of Moldavia 

The Sereth rises in Bukovina and flows in a broad valley 
throughout the greater part of its course. Within this valley 
the river meanders to a great extent, and its flood-plain is 
exceedingly marshy. It constantly ramifies, and there are 
numberless low islands and dead arms along its course. The 
slope is regular and gentle throughout. Among the principal 
tributaries of the Sereth are the Moldova, which rises in Buko- 
vina and joins the main stream at Roman; the Bistrita, with 
its affluents, Dorna, Neagra, and Bistricioara, which flows in 
at Bacau ; and the Trotus, which comes in near Adjud. 


These rivers, which reproduce to some extent the character- 
istics of the Sereth, drain the Moldavian Carpathians and 
bring vast quantities of water into the main stream in the 
spring when the snows are melting, and there is in addition 
considerable rainfall. While crossing the Wallachian plain, 
where most rivers suffer from drought and infiltration, the 
Sereth receives the Buzau and the Ramnicu on the right bank, 
and the Barlad on the left. The Barlad, like the Sereth, 
flows in a relatively broad and marshy valley and drains most 
of the country between the Sereth and the Pruth south of 
Jassy. The Buzau rises in the high plain of Bodzafalu in 
Transylvania, traverses the Carpathians by a single defile run- 
ning from north-west to south-east, and after entering the 
Wallachian plain turns towards the north-east. It loses very 
considerably by infiltration during the latter part of its 

The Pruth is already a considerable stream when it touches 
Roumanian territory. It flows in a broad and marshy valley 
separating Bessarabia from Roumania. In breadth it varies 
from 650 to 1,000 ft., and in depth from 13 to 20 ft. It has 
a regular slope and a much less capricious regime than the 
Wallachian rivers. Of the Roumanian tributaries the most 
important is the Jijia. The chief crossing is at Ungheni, 
where the railway from Jassy to Kishinev crosses the river by 
a great iron bridge. Between Galatz and Ungheni there are 
only chain ferries at the following points : (1) Galatz (to Reni) 
a little more than 1J mile west of the mouth (2) Oancea ; 
(3) Bumbata ; (4) Zberoaia ; (5) Dranceni. Galatz and Reni 
are connected by rail. Above Ungheni crossing is effected 
generally by ford except at Czernowitz, where the chain ferry 
railway crosses the river. North of Sculeni, the Pruth can 
be forded practically anywhere in summer. Communications 
along the banks are very restricted, there being in general no 
roads except those between the villages on the banks. These 
are most frequent well up-stream ; many of those in the lower 
reaches and along the valley-plain higher up disappear 
entirely in the flood season. The river is navigable for up- 


and down-stream traffic as far as Husi. According to another 
authority boats drawing 3 ft. can ascend at all seasons as far 
as Sculeni (about 188 miles). Above Leova there is a good 
deal of down-stream traffic by raft. Timber from the forests 
of Bukovina is floated right down to Galatz. The navigation 
of the river has in the past been regulated by an international 
commission composed of Russian, Roumanian, and Austrian 
representatives with head-quarters at Galatz. The river 
brings down with it a great deal of sand which in many places 
forms banks. The chief islands thus formed begin at Ser- 
penita, between which point and Galatz there are none. 
Floods take place three times a year : in spring up to the 
breaking of the ice in March ; in summer after the melting 
of the snows in the Carpathians ; and in autumn before the 
river freezes in December. The breaking up of the ice 
usually takes place during the middle or end of March ; 
freezing occurs m early or middle December, but in some 
places where the current is specially swift the river remains 
free from ice the whole year through. After each flood the 
channel changes more or less. During the last part of its 
course the Pruth forms small emissary streamlets which 
convey its surplus water to the low-lying land of the shore ; 
this surplus water recedes again into the Pruth when the 
high water subsides. The results of analysis are not very 
favourable with regard to the use of the Pruth water locally 
for drinking purposes ; a large part of the Galatz water-supply, 
however, is taken from Pruth water, which is passed through 
the extensive filter-beds north of the city. In the higher 
reaches the bed of the river is chiefly stony ; in the lower 
it is of clay. At first there is no gravel, later it shows a layer 
of fine mud mixed with sand of a bluish colour. 

The Dobrtjja 

The political unit known as the Dobruja has a conventional 
boundary which runs from the Danube west of Turtucaia to 
Ekrene on the Black Sea. Before 1913 the frontier ran from 
the Danube east of Silistra to the Black Sea 6i miles south 


of Mangalia, at an average distance of about 30 miles north 
of the frontier of 1913. 

Geographically, however, the Dobruja is the whole plain 
which lies between the eastern Balkans and the Danube 
mouths. This plain detaches itself from the foothills of the 
eastern Balkans north of Varna and inclines gently down 
towards the Danube Delta. It is a country of easy gradients 
and low undulations ; taken as a whole it forms a natural 
broad passage between the Danube and the Black Sea. All 
the races which from the earliest times invaded the Balkans 
from the Russian steppes entered by way of the Dobruja. 

A convenient natural boundary from which to start, in 
considering the Dobruja, is the Deli Orman (' Wild Wood '), 
the barren hilly region which closes Bulgaria, along the line 
Rustchuk-Varna. The Deli Orman is a limestone region, 
where the water percolates away. It is consequently almost 
waterless, and the trees have largely disappeared. The 
highest point is near Voivoda, a village about 9 miles NNW. 
of Novi Pazar. This height is 1,624 ft. From this point the 
hills become lower, until they come to an end in the low and 
slightly wooded ground which skirts the south bank of the 
Danube between Rustchuk and Silistra. 

The Deli Orman therefore may be taken as the base of the 
irregular triangle formed between the Lower Danube and 
Black Sea coast. This triangle is geographically the Dobruja. 

The Dobruja consists of four divisions. The south is 
a plateau, a great part of which is steppe ; in the north is 
a rather more broken district, which presents a picturesque 
and hilly aspect ; the east is marshy, with large tracts given 
up to lagoons. To these three parts should be added a fourth, 
the delta of the Danube, which consists of extensive mud- 
flats and alluvial deposits, with many water-channels, and 
picturesque beds of reeds and alders. 

The first portion, the southern plain, falls into two districts. 
One runs from the Deli Orman north-eastwards nearly as far 
as Medgidia. This is a fertile district, where corn is grown. 
Its undulations are not strongly marked, and run from 860 ft. 


to under 500 ft. The second part of the plateau, the district 
of Medgidia, is less fertile. It is an actual steppe-country. 
The surface of it is composed of a calcareous loam. 

The northern portion is the hilly district between Babadag 
and the angle which the Danube forms near Macin. These 
hills are fairly thickly wooded, and many of them rise from 
1,000 to 1,500 ft. 

The rainfall is not heavy, and everywhere outside the 
delta there is a scarcity of water, though wells can be sunk 
at almost any point. 

The delta of the Danube is a triangle of alluvial mud, 
40 miles broad at its base between the Kilia and St. George 
mouths. The triangle is bisected by the Sulina arm of the 
river. The area of the delta is about 1,000 square miles. 
There is no cultivation on it except around the few villages. 
It lies very low, being only 2 ft. above sea-level at the Sulina 
mouth. In the north, about the Kilia mouth, are dunes 
running up to an elevation of 40 or 50 ft. There are many 
swamps and fresh-water lakes, and in flood-time practically 
the whole area is liable to be overflowed. The delta gains 
10 to 15 ft. towards the sea every year, and is gradually 


The Roumanian coast of the Dobruja on the Black Sea is 
low, and broken by lagoons towards the north. Consequently 
there is no realty good port except at Constanta, where an 
outcrop of hard rock has permitted a considerable town to 
grow up. The Bessarabian coast, moreover, offers no facilities 
for a first-class port, and the principal outlet for that district 
has hitherto been Odessa. The political connexion of 
Bessarabia with Roumania does not, therefore, affect the 
importance of Constanta to Roumania, which will be further 
discussed in Chapter VIII. 

In the Carpathians there is no continuous zone of crystalline 
rock such as there is in the Alps. The greater part of the 


Wallachian range is, it is true, formed by a massif of primitive 
schists which extends from the Iron Gates to the Ialomita, 
but beyond that river no trace of crystalline rock is found till 
the Ceahlau is reached in the northern part of Moldavia. 
Lying upon these ancient rocks, however, there are in places 
great masses of limestone, fragments of a more extensive 
covering which has been removed by erosion. Examples of 
this formation are to be found in the valley of the Jiu, in the 
country round Predeal, and in the north of Moldavia. The 
most continuous zone in the mountain area is that of the 
flysch, which almost exclusively forms the Carpathian arc 
from the Ceahlau to the Bodza pass, but west of the Olt this 
belt disappears, and the later Tertiary rocks lie directly on the 
primitive massif. 

The region of the hills both in Walla chia and Moldavia is 
almost entirely formed of Tertiary rocks, among which sand- 
stones predominate. Over almost the whole of the latter 
province, however, as well as over the eastern parts of the 
former, they are partly concealed beneath a covering of loess, 
and in many places come to the surface only on the slopes of 
the river-valleys. 

The Wallachian plain is almost completely overlain by 
recent and unconsolidated formations. In the east the loess 
is everywhere found, often to a considerable depth, but in the 
west it is wanting, and its place is taken by alluvial soils 
which contain varying amounts of sand or gravel. 

The valley of the Danube is overlain by recent alluvium, 
and in the valleys of some of its tributaries a similar formation 
is found. 

Local Time, Calendar, and Magnetic Variation 
Standard time of Roumania is Eastern European time, or 
that of 30° E. longitude, two hours fast of Greenwich mean 

Roumania formerly used the Russian or old style calendar, 
according to which a date in the Gregorian or new style 
calendar (of English usage) is ascertained by adding 13 days 

c 2 


to the old style date. The Gregorian calendar was introduced 
in Moldavia and Bessarabia (Wallachia being at the time in 
German occupation) as from July 1 old style, i. e. July 14 new 
style, 1918, 

The magnetic variation on the Roumanian coast is about 
2° 70' W. (1918), decreasing 5' annually. 



From the climatic point of view lioumania occupies an 
intermediate position between Russia on the one hand and 
the Mediterranean area on the other, and in consequence it 
has affinities with both. The continental aspects of its climate 
are particularly well marked in the changes which take place 
in its temperature in the course of the year, while the distri- 
bution of rainfall is to some extent controlled by the atmo- 
spheric conditions which prevail over the Mediterranean area. 


The summers are very hot and it is not unusual for the 
thermometer to rise to 95° F., while the winters are exceed- 
ingly cold, and temperatures of — 10° F. are not infrequently 
registered. Extremes which have been noted include a maxi- 
mum of 109° F. at Giurgiu, and a minimum of - 32° F. at 
Bucharest. On an average there is frost for 136 days each 
year, on 36 of which the thermometer remains below freezing- 
point during the twenty-four hours. On the other hand there 
are 66 days on an average during which the summer tem- 
perature remains above 77° F. The figures given for Bucharest 
in Table II are characteristic of the whole Wallachian plain 
with its hot summers and cold winters. In Moldavia the range 
is not so great. The winters are not as a rule colder, while the 
summers are not so warm. 

In the Carpathians climatic conditions are less known, as few 
meteorological stations exist. In comparing different stations 
it is found that the mean annual temperature decreases 
by 0-38° F. for every 100 feet of vertical ascent. In summer 
the rate of fall is much greater, being about 0-60° F. in July, 
while in winter it is much less, and in January is about 0-16° F. 


In parts of Roumania, indeed, an inversion of temperature 
may be noted during the winter months. Calimanesti, with 
an altitude of 918 ft., has a January temperature of 27-7° F., 
while Striharet, which is only 525 ft. above sea-level, has one 
of 25-7° F. It may therefore be said that as a general rule 
the annual range of temperature on the mountains is less than 
on the plains. 

A feature of some interest is the rapid fall of temperature 
which occurs during the autumn months. In September the 
temperature is still relatively high, in November it approxi- 
mates to winter conditions. Everything undergoes a complete 
change in little over a month. 


The temperature of Roumania is to a great extent controlled 
by the winds, of which the two known 'as the Crivef and the 
Austru are the most important. The former blows at all 
seasons, but it reaches its maximum in winter and early 
spring, when a high-pressure system extends over Russia 
and cyclonic depressions make their way eastward along the 
Mediterranean area of low pressure. Under these conditions 
the wind blows from NE., ENE., or E. according to the posi- 
tion of the depression, and coming from the continental 
interior, frequently causes intense cold over the greater part 
of Roumania. A fall of 30° F. has sometimes been noted 
after the Crivet has begun to blow. Notwithstanding this, 
however, the periods of greatest cold do not coincide with the 
Crivet, but occur during calms or when westerly winds are 
blowing. The hot easterly winds which occur in summer are 
due to other causes, but are commonly known by the same 

The mean annual rate of the Crivet is about 10 miles per 
hour, but it varies from a monthly mean of about 16 J miles 
per hour in January to one of about 7 miles per hour in July. 
If the depression over the Mediterranean happens to be deep, 
the Crivet blows with great strength and causes large waves 
to rise on the Danube. 


During spring and early summer the winds when blowing 
from ENE. arrive from the Black Sea heavily charged with 
vapour, and coming into contact with the Carpathians bring 
abundant rainfall. Most of the rain which falls in spring and 
some of that in summer is due to these conditions. It has 
been calculated that at Bucharest 28 per cent, of the annual 
precipitation is brought by northerly winds, 48 per cent, by 
easterly, 14 per cent, by southerly, 9 per cent, by westerly, 
while 1 per cent, falls during periods of calm. 

The Austru generally blows between west and south-west 
and is not quite so strong a wind as the Crivet, its mean 
annual rate being about 8 miles per hour. In winter its 
monthly mean rises to over 10 miles per hour in January, and 
in summer falls to about 5| miles per hour in July. It usually 
blows when an eastward-moving depression, instead of follow- 
ing the Mediterranean route, takes its way more to the north 
by Central Italy, Hungary, and the north of Moldavia, to lose 
itself in Russia or round the Black Sea. This is possible only 
when the high-pressure area has abandoned eastern Europe, 
and is most common when the oceanic high-pressure system 
spreads over the British Isles and north-west Europe. The 
Austru is on the whole rather a dry wind, and when it blows 
for several days in succession the relative humidity not infre- 
quently falls below 40 per cent. The clear atmosphere may 
then lead to intense radiation, and in winter some low tem- 
peratures, which equal or even surpass those due to the Crivet, 
are registered. In summer it brings a cooler air than the 
Crivet, and is accordingly welcomed. 

At Bucharest the Crivet blows from ENE. and the Austru 
from WSW. Statistics compiled from the 105,192 hourly 
observations made during the twelve years 1885-96 show 
that the wind was ENE. at 21,459 observations, or 204 times 
in every 1,000, while it was WSW. at 12,444 observations, or 
118 times in every 1,000. Calms prevailed at 40 out of every 
1,000 observations. The remaining winds were fairly evenly 
distributed in other directions. The Crivet is most frequent 
in April, when it blows at 253 per 1,000 observations, least 


so in June with 148 per 1,000. For the summer as a whole 
the frequency is 163 per 1,000. 

The following table shows the average velocity of both 
winds in miles per hour at different seasons of the year : 

Crivej Atistrii 
Winter . . . 13J 9 

Spring .... 12| 8 

Summer 1\ 1\ 

Autumn . . . 9j 7 J 

Taking the year as a whole and considering all winds, the 
following figures have been obtained for Bucharest : 

Miles per hour 
127 days, maximum hourly velocity, below 11 



between 11 and 22| 
22 J and 34 
34 and 44 

above 44 

In the mountain regions the direction both of the Crivet 
and the Austru is affected by local topographical conditions. 
Valleys running north and south, for example, generally 
receive their winds from one or other of these directions. 

In addition to the cold spells induced by the Crivet and 
the Austru, very low temperatures also occur when the 
Russian high-pressure system expands, as it does on an 
average twice in each month, and lies over the Wallachian 


The figures in Table V indicate that Roumania has on the 
whole a low rainfall. Its distribution is of course much 
affected by the topography of the country, and varies from 
one region to another according to the exposure of each to 
the rain-bearing winds. The mountain areas have the heaviest 
precipitation, and the greater part of the Carpathians in Wal- 
lachia has between 30 and 35 inches per year. In Moldavia 


the region which receives a similar amount is confined to the 
country round the massif of Ceahlau and to some districts in 
the south. The central part of the hill region in Wallachia 
has as much as the Carpathians, but elsewhere it is less, 
ranging as a rule from 23 to 27 inches. In the western part 
of the hills of Moldavia the precipitation is between 20 and 
25 inches, but to the east of the Sereth it is usually less than 
20 inches. The western part of the Wallachian plain has over 
20 inches, but in the east there are considerable areas where 
less than 20 and in places less than 15 inches of rain fall. 

The influence of Mediterranean conditions is seen to some 
extent in the distribution of rainfall throughout the year. 
There is usually a minimum in January or February, after 
which the monthly means increase until June, which is the 
month of heaviest rainfall throughout the greater part of 
Roumania. About September a second but less marked 
minimum is reached in Wallachia, after which the precipita- 
tion again increases to a low maximum attained during the 
early winter. In Moldavia, where the Mediterranean influence 
is least felt, the rainfall as a rule decreases from June till 


On the plains snow begins to fall about the month of 
November and lies on an average about three months. In 
the mountains it has a longer duration. The Fagaras, which 
remain at an almost uniform height throughout their course, 
are usually covered from October till May. At the end of 
September there is often a slight snowfall, which is, however, 
frequently followed by a short spell of fine weather. 

For the climate of the Danube valley see also Handbook of 
the River Danube, I.D. 01020, pp. 22-7. 




Position and Height above Sea-level of the Chief 
Meteorological Stations in Roumania 

Height above 

Station. Latitude 

o / 


o / 


Turnu Severin . 44 38 N. 

20 33 E. 


. 44 37 

23 12 



44 19 

23 48 


Turnu Magurele 

43 45 

24 53 



44 7 

24 21 



44 26 

24 22 



44 15 

24 21 



45 17 

24 57 



45 21 

25 34 


Bucharest . 

44 25 

26 6 


Armase^ti . 

44 35 

27 9 



45 16 

27 58 



45 41 

27 12 


Targu Ocna 

46 17 

26 37 



46 55 

26 5iS 



47 51 

26 41 



47 59 

26 25 



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Each of the main physical regions of Roumania has a 
characteristic flora determined by its climate and soil. In the 
Danubian valley the plants are mainly those which grow in 
marshy districts. The Wallachian plain, with its permeable 
soils, early summer rain, and autumn drought, has a vegeta- 
tion approximating closely to that of the steppe. On the 
hills and lower mountains the deciduous forest of central 
Europe predominates, while the upper slopes of the Car- 
pathians are covered with coniferous trees to the limit of tree 
growth, beyond which the grass-lands gradually pass into an 
Arctic type of flora. 

Valley of the Danube 

In the upper part of the valley of the Danube in Roumania 
conditions are not favourable to the growth of plants of any 
description, and it is not until Calafat is passed that the 
willows and reeds which are so characteristic of the lower part 
of the valley begin to appear. All the islands and bluffs are 
covered with a dense growth of willows which to a great 
extent conceals the contour of the country. Sand-banks 
which appear above the surface at times of low water are often 
destitute of vegetation, but even on them, if they remain in 
existence long enough and are free from flood, an aquatic 
vegetation soon grows. Tamarisks with silvery leaves prepare 
the way for the willow, which soon invades any region where 
the conditions are favourable. 

In the Balta the reed predominates and is found every- 
where, except in the deeper lakes and on certain areas which 
it has been found possible to convert into pasture. The 


plumed variety, known in Roumania as trestia (Phragmites 
communis), is the most abundant and grows to a height vary- 
ing from five to ten feet. It surrounds all the lagoons, fills 
the dead arms of the river, and covers wide areas between the 
lateral branches. Other varieties include the papura (Typha 
Jatifolia), with large flat leaves, and the piping (Scirpus 
lacustris), which has a slender and serrated stem, narrow 
leaves, and clusters of reddish flowers. These grow in almost 
impenetrable thickets, especially at the bends of the channels. 

Reeds and willows are of special value in a country almost 
wholly deprived of timber. Osiers are used in various kinds 
of basket -making ; the plumed reed is cut and dried for fuel ; 
the papura is woven into mats or used as thatch. 

It is almost impossible to distinguish other types of vegeta- 
tion in a region where reeds and willows are so widespread, 
but among them may be noted varieties of the water-lily, 
water-milfoil, spurge, mint, and crowfoot. 

In the lower valleys of some of the larger tributaries of the 
Danube a similar type of vegetation prevails. 

Wallachian Plain 
The flora of the Wallachian plain partly resembles that 
of the Russian steppe, partly that of the Mediterranean 
region. As a result of the high summer temperature a con- 
siderable number of plants common to the Balkans and to 
the Caucasus have been able to establish themselves in the 
region, and in some of the depressions where water is a little 
more abundant a number of Mediterranean plants are found. 
On the whole, however, the vegetation is that of a region with 
a continental climate. The thick covering of loess, the 
scanty rainfall, and the storms of snow in winter and of dust 
in summer are all hostile to the growth of trees. In the 
northern part of the plain where the land is more dissected 
by rivers and where water is consequently more abundant, 
there are occasional clumps of oak (Quercus pubescens and 
Quercus conferta), together with elms, maples, and thickets 
of hazel, privet, and elder, all of which are probably the 


remains of a forest that was formerly much more extensive. 
The region nearer the Danube has always been a steppe, 
and in it various kinds of grasses predominate. Of these, 
the most important (Triticum cristatum and Phlomis pungens) 
cover large areas. They grow to a considerable height 
during the rains of spring and early summer, but dry up 
rapidly during the autumn drought. Other characteristic 
plants of the region are Knautia macedonica and Centaurea 
orientalis. Bulbous plants of various kinds are also common. 
In places, more especially in the east, great thickets of giant 
thistles cover considerable areas. 

Region of the Hills 

This is the region which in Roumania is known as the 
podgoria. Formerly a vast forest, much of it has been 
cleared and devoted to agriculture. On the uplands between 
the river - valleys the oak still covers considerable areas. 
Several varieties of this tree are found, including Quercus 
pedunculata, Q. sessiliflora, Q. conferta, and Q. pubescens. 
Among other trees are the elm, the maple, and the horn- 
beam. The walnut and the chestnut are confined to the 
western districts of the region. Towards the mountains the 
beech and a variety of birch (Betula verrucosa) appear, and 
are in almost exclusive possession of the woods in the sub- 
Carpathian depressions. In the great valleys of Moldavia 
a more humid type of forest exists, in which the oak (Quercus 
pubescens) and a variety of black poplar are the chief trees. 

The undergrowth in these forests includes buckthorn (Bha- 
mnus frangula), spindle-tree (Euonymus verrucosa), and privet 
(Ligustrum vulgare). The wild plum, the hazel-nut, the dog- 
berry, and similar plants grow upon the outskirts of the woods. 
In the inundated meadows the ranunculus, marsh-mallow, 
mint, and valerian are common. These various plants all 
more or less belong to the central European flora. The bril- 
liant colouring of the flowers is, however, a striking feature, 
and is characteristic of southern rather than of central 

I) 2 



In these mountains an important distinction may be 
drawn between the forested and the unforested regions. 
In the forested or sub-Alpine zone two subdivisions may be 
recognized — a lower zone lying between 2,000 and 4,000 ft. 
above sea-level, and an upper lying between 4,000 and 
5,000 ft. In the former subdivision the beech is the charac- 
teristic tree, though up to a height of about 2,500 ft. several 
varieties of the oak are also found. With the beech is asso- 
ciated the birch, the elm, and the maple. On stony slopes 
the birch is frequently the only tree which will thrive, while 
along the side of the mountain streams the willow, the alder, 
and the tamarind grow in considerable quantities. 

In the beech forest flowers are generally wanting, except in 
the early spring, and their place is taken by a great variety 
of mosses, lichens, and ferns. In the clearings, on the other 
hand, flowers are numerous, and the ranunculus, marguerite, 
scabious, milk-wort, sweet trefoil, and many others are found. 

Towards the upper limit of the lower sub-Alpine zone the 
beech begins to disappear, and its place is taken by the spruce, 
one variety of which is Picea excelsa. In the lower districts 
the maple is sometimes found, in the upper the larch. Every- 
where, however, the spruce is the characteristic tree of the 
upper sub-Alpine zone. 

The underwood is even poorer than lower down, but 
wherever there is a clearing the ground is carpeted with ferns, 
ranunculus, myosotis, valerian, wild sorrel, the Carpathian 
campanula, and the telekia (Telekia speciosa), which is a very 
characteristic plant of the Carpathians in Wallachia. Towards 
the upper limit of this zone the larkspur, the columbine, the 
gentian, and the violet indicate the near approach of the 
Alpine prairie. 

The limit between the beech and the spruce is seldom very 
clearly defined, and the transition zone is often of consider- 
able breadth. Similarly at the upper limit of tree growth the 
spruce forest does not finish abruptly, but gradually becomes 


more and more attenuated. Clear spaces are more frequent, 
and a variety of pine (Pinus Mughus) and juniper (Juniperus 
nana) form a brushwood amidst which a few spruce- trees are 
still able to grow. In places where the junipers are wanting, 
the spruce becomes bushy. Elsewhere the alders form a thick 
covering on the surface. 

Above the tree-line come the Alpine pastures, in which the 
grasses Poa ovina and Poa disticha are the most prominent 
features. Along with them are associated many Alpine plants 
with bright flowers such as the primula (Primula longiflora), 
bell-flowers (Scilla bifolia), campanulas, anemones, &c. 

Above a height of 6,500 ft. the rhododendron (Rhododendron 
myrtifolium) and a variety of heath (Bruckenthalia spiculifolia) 
are the only woody plants which are found. The grasses 
(Phleum alpinum, Poa alpina, Poa hybrida, &c.) are inter- 
mingled with a great variety of flowering plants, of which the 
most important are campanulas (Campanula alpina, C. Car- 
patica, G. rotundifolia), mountain avens (Dry as octopetala), 
violets (Viola declinata, V, biflora), gentians (Genliana acaulis), 
and primulas (P. longiflora). 

At heights of 7,000 ft. and over, there are very few plants, 
the most important being Alpine varieties of the viola, pink, 
veronica, and primrose. 

On the limestone the flora is generally more prominent than 
on the rocks of crystalline formation. Upon the escarpments 
of Piatra Craiului and of Bucegi a considerable number of 
bright-coloured flowers grow everywhere in the crevices of the 
rocks. In the marshy bottoms of the cirques, dwarf willows, bil- 
berries (Vaccinium Myrtillus), azaleas (Azalea Bruckenthalia), 
and sedges are all found. 

The fauna of Roumania also varies according to the geo- 
graphical character of the country. Among the more impor- 
tant animals found in the Carpathians or in the more inac- 
cessible parts of the hill country the following may be noted. 
The chamois, which is becoming very rare, was, until recently 


at least, found in the more inaccessible cirques of the Fagaras 
and Paringu. The wild boar and the wolf live in the forests, 
but are sometimes found in the plains. The bear is occasionally 
met with, but is seldom dangerous. The lynx, the deer 
and the common goat also find a home in this region. 

Among the birds are the grouse, the capercailzie, the wall- 
creeper, and the water-ouzel. Two varieties of the eagle 
(the imperial eagle and the booked eagle) and two varieties 
of the vulture (the taAvny vulture and the cinereous vulture) 
are also found. 

In the plains the animals are generally small. The dor- 
mouse, the hamster, and the ground-squirrel are confined to 
this region. As in the mountains, the fox, the badger, the 
hedgehog, and the polecat are common, and the wild boar 
and the wolf are sometimes found. 

The birds characteristic of the plain include the great 
bustard, the little bustard, the calandra, the partridge, and 
the quail. 

In the marshes of the Danube valley a great variety of birds 
is found. Wild duck, wild geese, pelican, coot, heron, the 
stork, and the plover are only a few of the more important. 

Fish are numerous in most of the rivers. In the mountain 
streams trout and salmon are of common occurrence ; the 
rivers in the region of the hills contain barbel and other fish ; 
the more tranquil waters of the Wallachian plain are the 
home of carp and sandre. The Danube fisheries are of con- 
siderable value. Among the chief fish caught there are 
sturgeon, sandre, salmon, and pike (see p. 148). The species 
of fish found in Roumanian waters number upwards of 70. 



Origins and composition of population — Population statistics of the King- 
dom of Kouniania — Distribution of population — Characteristics and 
social conditions — Health conditions — Religion — Education — Language 
— Literature — Roumanians outside Roumania — Foreigners in Rou- 

Origins and Composition of Population 
The origins and composition of the Roumanian people have 
not yet been determined with any certainty or exactitude. It 
is known that the present kingdom of Roumania includes the 
major part of the area which, under the name of Dacia, was 
conquered by Trajan in a. D. 106. Large number of colonists 
came from all parts of the Roman Empire, and through inter- 
marriage with the native ' Dacians ' gave rise to a romanized 
population, speaking ' rustic ' Latin. For a long time after 
the withdrawal of the Roman legions in the third century, 
little is known regarding the fate of the Daco-Roman people. 
When it again emerges into the light of history, its speech is 
found to have been profoundly modified by Slav, Bulgarian, 
and Albanian influences. Even its place-names have become 
more Slav than Latin. The Roumanian people, meantime, is 
found to be in occupation of both sides of the Carpathians, 
and south of the Danube in Macedonia. 

Until 1873 it was assumed by all writers upon Roumania 
that. when the Emperor Aurelian withdrew his forces, the 
Daco-Romans preserved their independence by retiring into 
the mountainous regions north of the Danube, in Oltenia and 
the Banat. It was also believed that they then adopted a 
nomad pastoral mode of life, but that in course of time they 
became a conquering race and settled in the adjoining plains 
over the wide area which is now occupied by Roumanian- 
speaking peoples. 


This theory explains in a sufficiently plausible manner the 
present geographical distribution ; but it fails to account for 
the Slav place-names of the Transylvanian Alps and of the 
plains, or for the existence of so great a proportion of Slav roots 
and of numerous Bulgarian and Albanian idioms in the Rou- 
manian language, or for the many evidences in the Roumanian 
physical types, costumes, customs, and popular beliefs of Slav, 
Bulgarian, Albanian, and Greek influences. 

Another view is that in a. d. 270-75 the whole body of Roman 
settlers withdrew to the south of the Danube, and were there 
subject to Slav and other influences ; and that Wallachia and 
Transylvania have been roumanized by a slow immigration, 
beginning about the close of the thirteenth century, of Macedo- 

More recent investigations favour a compromise between 
these two views. The Roumanian language would seem to have 
been formed not in the mountains, but in the plains south as well 
as north of the Danube ; on any other view it would be difficult 
to account for the Bulgarian and Albanian idioms which 
have passed into the general structure of the language. But 
this may be admitted without our requiring to hold that there 
has been a complete lack of continuity in the population of 
Trajan's Dacia. It seems more reasonable to suppose that 
on the retreat of the legions a considerable number of Daco- 
Romans remained in the mountain regions of Oltenia and the 
Banat, and that it is from this centre that Wallachia and 
Transylvania have been roumanized. The Roumanians are 
an essentially mountain people. Until recently the population 
of Wallachia was more dense in the hill region than in the 
plains ; and south of the Danube Roumanians are found chiefly 
in the mountain regions. The migratory character of their 
primitive pastoral life, while helping to preserve the unity 
of their speech, may also account for the various foreign 
influences. As the flocks and herds, whenever possible, were led 
on to the plains for winter pasture, the shepherds, in course of 
time, would come to adopt the agricultural life of the lowland 
peoples (Roumanian agricultural terms are mostly Slav) and 


would thus give rise to the mixed population of the various 
Roumanian provinces. The Banat, it may also be observed, 
offers a natural line of migration from the Carpathians to the 
Balkan ranges. 

History seems to confirm these suppositions. The first 
independent Roumanian States were in the mountains : 
Maramures, the country of Lityre on the Olt, the Banat, and 
Oltenia. Also, the capitals have progressively descended 
towards the plains : Turnu Severin, Strehaia, Craiova in 
Oltenia ; Campulung and Bucharest in Muntenia. Muntenia, 
a region in which the plains occupy three-quarters of the 
surface, owes its name to the fact that for long only the moun- 
tains and hills were populated. The Carpathians would thus 
appear to be the true original home of the Roumanian people. 
They have not been a barrier separating them from other 
peoples, but the centre from which their civilization has spread. 

Conjecture apart, it is clear that the Roumanian people is the 
outcome of many diverse elements. To the original Dacian 
strain is due the nomad pastoral mode of life. There is ample 
evidence of a strong Slav element. More than half the roots 
in the Roumanian language are of Slav origin ; the place-names 
are two-thirds Slav; many customs and popular beliefs are con- 
nected with those in Russia ; the Roumanian religion long 
used Slav as its official language ; and lastly, the traditional 
Roumanian law is also Slav in origin. This Slav element was 
introduced by the Slav invaders who appeared on the Danube 
in the fifth century. The Bulgarian and Albanian influences 
are also such as indicate intermarriage and fusion. During the 
Middle Ages Wallachia and Bulgaria were very closely related. 
There may also have been some Albanian population north of 
the Danube . The Greek influence is less easy to determine ; but 
most authorities recognize the existence of a Greek type in the 
Roumanian population. It is, of course, still more pronounced 
among the Macedo-Roumanians. 

Physical Types. — Quite different physical types are to be 
found in Wallachia : (1) The most frequent type is of slow 
and dignified carriage but alert expression, of good stature, 


with broad shoulders, black or dark hair, regular features, 
grey or brown eyes. This type is fairly general in the inter- 
mediate hill region. (2) In the mountains a somewhat similar 
type has prominent cheek-bones, a more rigid bearing, and 
much smaller stature. (3) In the plains and certain parts of 
the hill country we find a blonde type, with fair or chestnut 
hair. These are sometimes of much reduced stature, sometimes 
also very slender with sloping shoulders. (4) In the larger 
towns and along the Danube many families which are 
Roumanian in sentiment and language are quite Greek in 

Persistence of the Latin Element. — When all is said, we have 
still to recognize the astonishing vitality of the original Latin 
element. It has been sufficiently strong to preserve the 
general grammatical structure and a very large proportion of 
the vocabulary of the ' rustic ' Latin ; and has rendered the 
Roumanian peasants, especially as found in Wallachia, very 
different in character from their Slav and Bulgarian neigh- 
bours. All observers agree that the Wallachians have many 
Italian or Gallic traits. Notwithstanding the slow and some- 
what Oriental dignity of their bearing, and the depression 
caused by centuries of subjection and by the hardness of their 
present way of life, they exhibit in their social ceremonies and 
festivals an alertness and gaiety, a love of fine phrases and of 
oratory, which show genuine kinship with the Latin peoples. 
Their own unshakable conviction that they are the direct 
descendants of Trajan's colonists tends also to strengthen 
these affinities, and has exercised a profound moral influence 
upon their political and intellectual development. In addition 
to this, owing to various .circumstances, it has been France, 
not Russia or Austria, that has exercised the main formative 
influence in the most crucial period (1723 to 1870) of their 
modern history. For good or for ill Roumania has identified 
itself with the Latin tradition. Its government is modelled 
upon French institutions ; its political and intellectual leaders 
have, with few exceptions, been educated in Paris ; and in the 
important task of remodelling their language to suit the needs 



of literature and science, the Roumanians have invariably 
looked for inspiration to Latin sources. 

Population Statistics of the Kingdom of Roumania 

The total number of inhabitants in the kingdom of Rou- 
mania, as recorded by the census of December 1912, was 
7,234,919. These figures do not include the population of 
the territory annexed by the Treaty of Bucharest in 1913. 
According to Bulgarian statistics of 1910 the annexed region 
had a population of 273,090. The population of the kingdom, 
augmented by that of the annexed territory and by the excess 
of births over deaths for the year 1913, had therefore increased 
by the beginning of 1914 to 7,626,000. 

This total includes 250,000 Gipsies and Bulgarians who have 
become Roumanian subjects, and 240,000 Jews, only a small 
number of whom are naturalized; about 5,000 of the Jews 
are subjects of other countries, the others, though not 
naturalized, are under Roumanian protection. In addition, 
the above total includes about 200,000 subjects of foreign 
States, comprising 100,000 Austro-Hungarian subjects (almost 
all of whom are Roumanians of Transylvania), 20,000 Turks 
(especially in the harbours of the Danube), 20,000 Greeks, 
and about 8,000 from the German Empire, who with the 
German- Austrians and the ' Siebenbiirger ' Saxons form a 
considerable colony in Bucharest. The non-naturalized 
Bulgarians in Roumania, most of whom are market-gardeners, 
are about 8,000 in number. These latter, however, are not 
included in the above statistics, as # they return to Bulgaria 
for the winter months. In central Moldavia there are thousands 
of Magyar descent (Changos and Szeklers) ; the communes 
along the Danube have many inhabitants of Serbian origin. 

For details concerning the foreign population see below, 
p. 90. 

Since the census of 1899 the population had increased by 
21-5 per cent, to 1914 : 22-3 per the rural communes and 
18-1 per cent, in the towns. The increase would have been 
still greater but for the Balkan war of 1913 and the cholera 



epidemic which followed it. The war also caused a great 
emigration of Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, Turks, &c. The 
average annual increase by excess of births over deaths in 
the period 1903-12 was 103,968. The excess of births in 1912 
was; 148,474. 

Departments and Capital Towns.— The following table gives 
the area and population of departments, and the population 
of their capitals, according to the census of December 1912. 

Wallachia and Moldavia 




Capital Town. 


(sq. miles). 


of Capital. 






Bacau . 



Bacau . 


Botosani . 



Botosani . 


*Braila , 



Braila . 





Buzau . 







*Dambovi^a . 





fDoljiu . . 








Dorohoi . 


Falciu . . 



Hu$i . 


tGorjiu . 



Targu Jiu 






*Ilfov . . 








Jassy . 


fMehedin^i . 



Turnu Severin 


*Muscel . 



Campulung . 


Neam^u . 



Piatra . . . 


*01t . . . 



Slatina . . 







Putna . 





*Ranmicu Sarat 1,260 


Ramnicu Sarat 


Roman . 





•j-Rornana^i . 





Suceava . 



Falticeni . 


Tecuci . 





*Teleorman . 



Turnu Magurelc 


Tutova . . 





fValcea . 



Ramnicu Valcea 


Vaslui . 



Vaslui . , . 


*Vlasca . 





1 Wallachian departments marked * are in Muntenia or Great Wal- 
lachia; those marked f are in Oltenia or Little Wallachia. Moldavian 
departments arc unmarked. 






Capital Town. 


(sq. miles). 


of Capital. 

Caliacra . . 





Constanta . 



Constanta . 







Tulcea . . 



Tulcea . . , 


Urban and Rural Population. — The urban population in 
1912 was 18-4 per cent., and the rural population 81-6 per 
cent., of the total population. This is practically the same 
proportion as in 1899. The proportion of the urban popula- 
tion in the Dobruja was much greater, being 25 per cent, of 
its total population. On the other hand the urban per- 
centage was only 10 per cent, in Oltenia. In Moldavia it 
approached that of the whole country, being 18-2 per cent. 
In Muntenia the urban population represented a proportion 
of 21-2 per cent. 

Bucharest was the only city with more than 100,000 
inhabitants : in December 1912 it had 341,321, an increase 
of 65,143 since 1899. There were fourteen towns of more 
than 20,000 inhabitants. In November 1916, the capital was 
removed from Bucharest to Jassy, and the population of this 
town, which in 1914 was about 65,000, was thereupon in- 
creased by an irruption of officials, banking and mercantile 
personnel, refugees from invaded territories, and, a little later, 
the Roumanian and Russian head-quarters staffs, so that the 
total number of inhabitants was estimated in January 1917 
at 200,000 or more, and this movement brought with it all 
the evils of overcrowding, inflation of prices, shortage of 
supplies, and disease. 

Mortality and Birth Rates. — In 1913, owing to war and the 
resulting epidemic of cholera, the number of deaths was 
191,689, i. e. 261 per 1,000. 1,259 soldiers lost their lives in 
Bulgaria, the majority from cholera ; 5,094 died of the epi- 
demic in Roumania. The rate of mortality, even in ordinary 
years, is among the highest in Europe. For the period 1891- 
1900 it was 29-2, and for the period 1901-10, 25-8. 


The death-rate for children up to 5 years of age is about 
50 per cent, of the total death-rate. About one-fifth of the 
infants born die in their first year ; at the end of the fifth year 
only one-third survive. 

The annual number of births was 314,090 in 1912, and 
309,625 in 1913. The birth-rate is 43 per 1,000, which places 
Roumania, among European countries, very high — imme- 
diately after Russia and Bulgaria. 

Distribution or Population 

In 1912 the distribution of population in the historical 

divisions of the country was as follows : 

Moldavia .... 2,139,154 = 29-5 per cent. 

Muntenia . . . . 3,302,430 = 45-6 

Oltenia .... 1,412,905 = 19-6 
Dobruja .... 380,430 = 5-3 

For the whole country the density of the population in 1912 
was 144 inhabitants per square mile. The distribution varies 
in the historical divisions : 

Inhabitants per square mile. 
Urban and rural Mural 

populations together. population. 

Moldavia . 144 113 

Muntenia ... 162 120 

Oltenia ... 151 134 

Dobruja ... 62 40 

In general the population is denser in the industrial and com- 
mercial departments : it is also denser in the plains than in 
the hill districts and in the regions adjoining the marshes. 
Only two-thirds of the Dobruja are habitable. 

The upheaval of the population consequent upon the war 
had its principal, and a disastrous, effect in a concentration 
in Moldavia. Here, in the winter of 1916-17, there was an 
accretion of population — refugees, Roumanian and Russian 
soldiery, &c. — which has been estimated at much over a 
million : the territory was unable adequately to accommodate 
or supply them, and a hard winter aggravated the situation. 
As at Jassy, so elsewhere, the ravages of typhus and other 
epidemics were very serious. 


We shall nevertheless review in the following paragraphs 
the distribution of the population under normal conditions, 
principally in regard to its control by natural geographical 

Carpathian Region 

The Roumanian part of the Carpathian range is one of the 
least densely populated mountain regions in Europe, and the 
upper limit of permanently occupied habitations does not 
rise above the 2,500-ft. contour line. The rivers are in the 
main transverse, often cutting their way through the moun- 
tains in narrow gorges, and there are few well developed longi- 
tudinal valleys such as exist in the Alps. Arable land is 
consequently limited in extent, and the cultivation of the soil 
is only possible in specially favoured localities. The most 
striking feature of the mountains are the large areas of com- 
paratively level pasture land at high elevations. These 
plaiuri or paths, dotted at the beginning of summer with the 
most beautiful alpine flowers, form the domain of the Rou- 
manian shepherds (see Chapter VII). 

Region of the Hills 

The geographical factors which control the distribution and 
economic activities of the inhabitants of this region are by 
no means the same throughout. In the sub-Carpathian 
depressions there is much fertile soil which, except in the 
areas subject to flooding, is devoted to cultivation or pasture. 
The ridges which separate the depressions from one another 
are frequently covered with oak and beech, remnants of the 
ancient forest which once extended over the whole region. 
The population, which is relatively dense, finds an additional 
source of wealth in the pasture lands lying on the lower 
slopes of the mountains and in the forests higher up. Large 
towns and isolated houses are few, and the bulk of the people 
live in small villages situated at the openings of the mountain- 
valleys or upon the flanks of the ridges which separate the 

In the west of Oltenia the hill region proper consists of the 


high plateau of Mehidinti, which is a poor land with but a 
scanty population. Except in the limestone districts, where 
good arable land occurs in the dolines, the soil is infertile, the 
rainfall heavy, and the temperature relatively low. Farther 
to the east conditions are generally much more favourable. 
The two terraces which lie on the slopes of the valleys (see 
p. 19) are usually covered with fertile alluvial soil and are 
devoted to agriculture. The population is more widely 
scattered than in many other parts of the region and every 
fold of the land contains a small group of houses. In Muntenia 
a somewhat similar state of affairs exists. In the valleys 
and on the terraces where the soil is fertile the land is culti- 
vated and the population fairly dense. The intervening 
uplands, on the other hand, are generally forested and almost 
uninhabited. The districts drained by the Arges and its 
tributaries (including the sub-Carpathian depression round 
Campulung) afford a particularly favourable example of the 
hill country. River- valleys are numerous, and on the terraces 
there is much fertile soil. Few parts of Roumania are better 
suited to agriculture. Between Targoviste and Focsani, 
farther to the east, the hill country contracts in breadth, 
and economic conditions become more complex. The bulk 
of the population is still concentrated in the valleys, but its 
distribution is affected by the mineral wealth of the region. 
There has been intense alluviation in the valleys of the Ialo- 
mita, the Prahova, and the Teleajenu, and the terraces are 
extremely fertile. Towards the south and south-east indeed, 
where the hill country has sunk, they have a great extension, 
and only the summits of the hills appear above the level of 
the alluvial soil. In addition to these facilities for agriculture, 
the mineral wealth of the region — consisting of petroleum and 
salt — has led to a great increase in the population. The villages 
are situated either at the foot of the upper terrace or along the 
course of the rivers. In the basin of the Buzau there is also 
much fertile soil, and the lower slopes of the hills are covered 
with orchards, vineyards, and plum plantations, while the 
villages are established at the foot of each valley. Farther 


to the north agricultural conditions become less favourable 
and the population less dense. 

In Moldavia the geographical factors which control the 
distribution of the population are somewhat different. The 
land has been dissected by rivers to a much greater extent, 
while its surface has been covered by a thick mantle of loess. 
The loess is fertile but it absorbs water easily and, as a rule, 
springs are found only on the slopes of the valleys where the 
loess comes in contact with the underlying rocks. It is here 
accordingly that settlement has taken place, and it is in 
the neighbourhood of such settlement that the agricultural 
lands are found. The intervening uplands are generally un- 
inhabited and are still, to a considerable extent, covered with 
forest. In the flood-plains of the larger rivers, on the other 
hand, the land is marshy and incapable of cultivation, and 
towns and villages are situated on the marginal slopes. On 
account of the differences which exist it will be advisable to 
distinguish between Wallachia and Moldavia when discussing 
agriculture in the region of the hills. 

Wallachian Plain 
The geographical conditions which control the distribution 
of the population of this region are somewhat similar to those 
which exist in Moldavia. The chief factor is the position of 
accessible supplies of water, and this depends in the main 
upon the thickness of the covering of alluvial soil (in the 
west) or loess (in the east) and the level of the underground 
water-table. As a rule therefore the people are grouped in 
the river-valleys, where water can be obtained either from 
springs or by sinking wells, and scattered habitations are 
necessarily few. In Oltenia, for example, the villages have an 
average population of between 800 and 1,000, and those with 
3,000 or 4,000 are not rare. To the east of the Olt a dis- 
tinction may be drawn between the upper and lower slopes 
of the region. The former districts are more dissected by 
rivers and have a thinner covering of loess, so that valleys 
with springs upon their slopes are numerous. Favourable 



conditions of this nature prevail in the valleys of the Arges 
and its tributaries as far south as Bucharest ; and in the valleys 
of the Ialomita, and of the rivers which flow into it, the water 
is also everywhere near the surface. These districts are 
accordingly among the most densely populated in the region, 
and the habitations of the people are well distributed. In the 
basins of the Vedea and the Teleorman the rivers do not 
rise in the mountains, and, as a result, are almost dry in summer, 
but springs flow out along their slopes and mark the sites of 
many small villages 

The lower parts of the terrace are less favourably situated 
as regards water, and the population is accordingly more con- 
centrated In the departments of Teleorman, Vlasca, and 
Ilfov much of the land is fertile, but the greater part of the 
population is grouped in large villages along the sources of the 
Teleorman, the Arges, and the Dambovita. In the Baragan 
conditions are worse, and for long the region was almost en- 
tirely uninhabited except by wandering herdsmen. Since the 
construction of the railway from Bucharest to Cernavoda 
matters have improved. The fertility of the soil has been 
recognized, and, although attempts to obtain water by artesian 
wells have failed, ordinary wells have been sunk in the dry 
valleys, and round these agricultural villages have grown up. 
The most favoured districts lie along the line of depression 
followed by the railway from Calarasi to Ciulnita, and in the 
valley of the Mostistea, where springs occur along the line of 
contact between the loess and the Tertiary clays. 

To the north of the valley of the Ialomita, which is also well 
populated, especially upon its southern slopes, the terrace is 
lower than elsewhere. There are, however, numerous valleys, 
and in them water can be obtained at no great distance from 
the surface. The region is therefore more populous than the 
Baragan and a greater proportion of the land is cultivated. 
There are many villages in this depression. 


Characteristics and Social Conditions 

The Peasantry 

Roumania is, in the main, a peasant State. Though com- 
merce and industry have greatly increased in the past genera, 
tion, the rural population in 1913 was still 81-6 per cent, of 
the total. 

The peasants show traces of past centuries of oppression, 
and the present conditions of their life are hard and exacting. 
Though their glance is keen, it is in striking contrast to their 
apathetic bearing. Their songs are plaintive ; their dances 
are never boisterous ; their voices are rarely loud. Towards 
strangers they are distrustful and unresponsive. There are 
signs, however, that their native traits of character are very 
different, and only await favouring conditions. They are 
self-respecting and independent. They delight in colour and 
ornament. There is a suppressed passion in many of their 
songs. On Sundays and festivals they exhibit a social care- 
free spirit which is genuinely akin to that of the Latin races. 

The Roumanians are a very artistic people. This is shown 
in their handicrafts, in their brightly coloured national cos- 
tumes, in their songs and legends, and in their delight in the 
elaborate ritual of their baptism, betrothal, marriage, and 
funeral ceremonies. The richness of the oral tradition of the 
peasants explains the gift for public speaking which is so 
general in the educated classes. 

The economic position of the Roumanian peasant is far 
from satisfactory. He is underfed and, though industrious, 
works in a somewhat listless manner. Observers have fre- 
quently remarked that he is more capable of a vigorous burst 
of energy than of continuous steady effort. Also, probably 
owing to the habits induced during centuries of Turkish 
misrule, the Roumanian is seldom thrifty or provident. 

To what causes the evils of rural life are chiefly due, whether 
to the smallness of the holdings and the conditions of tenure, 
or to lack of banking and transport facilities, or to short- 
sighted management on the part of the great proprietors, or 

E 2 


to inherited apathy and lack of skill and initiative on the 
part of the peasants themselves, is a controversial question. 
Probably all of these causes in some degree contribute to the 
continuance of the present unsatisfactory state of affairs. 
Educational facilities of an eminently practical character are 
steadily improving ; and since the outbreak of the European 
War, proposals for a new and comprehensive division of land, 
by purchase from the larger proprietors, have been accepted 
by the Government. The sanitary conditions of village life 
are extremely backward ; together with the lack of proper 
feeding, they account for the high infant death-rate, i Pellagra 
is very prevalent. 

Peasant Types. — The peasants vary in type in the various 
divisions of the country. The Wallachian peasant is, by 
general admission, superior to the Moldavian. The former 
has great natural dignity, and approaches the boier and the 
stranger on terms of equality. The Moldavian, even if pros- 
perous, has more humble ways ; he also exhibits greater 
lethargy and depression. It is said that the Wallachian 
allows his hair to grow long ; the Moldavian merely does no 
cut his .'. The land is indeed better cultivated in Moldavi; 
than in Wallachia ; but this is due to the large proprietors 
who introduce new methods. The Moldavian peasant doe 
not even own the agricultural implements which he uses 
and remains in a state of subjection, from which his brothers 
on the Danube and in Oltenia begin to emerge. On the lands 
of the large proprietors he generally works under the direction 
of Jewish foremen. 

There are a certain number of ' peasant nobles ' (mosneni), 
who have held their freeholds for three or four centuries. 
They live as peasants, though in a superior style, and wear 
the national costume. Also in every village there are certain 
peasants who are more prosperous than the others, or who 
through personal qualities have acquired a certain authority. 
These are called fruntasi. At table, in all social ceremonies, 
a special place is reserved for them. 

See 02. 


Women. — The women are slender, with small hands and 
small feet : a stout peasant is quite a rare sight. The good 
looks of the Roumanian peasant women are generally acknow- 
ledged, but owing to the scorching summer sun and the 
severity of the winters, as well as the poorness of their food 
and the hardness of their life, their beauty fades at a very 
early age/ The standard of sexual morality among the 
Roumanian peasantry is extremely high. / 

Dress. — There is no single national costume or ordinary 
dress. The costumes vary in the different regions, and often 
differ markedly even in adjoining villages. The dress of the 
men is more uniform than that of the women, and also plainer. 
It is always white, and consists of two main garments : (a) 
trousers of woollen or hemp tissue, of various cuts, the most 
characteristic being the itari, very long trousers, about twice 
the length of the leg, and gathered up in thin folds all along 
the leg, to which they tightly fit ; (6) the shirt, of flax, hemp, 
cotton, or even of rough silk white tissue, hanging like a smock 
over the trousers and fastened at the waist with a broad, long, 
red woollen sash or by a leather belt. The headgear in winter 
is the caciula, a lambskin cap, and in summer a black 
felt hat (palarie), with broad brim, trimmed round the top 
with ribbons. On the feet are worn sandals (opinci), shoes, 
or boots, of cattle and pig hide. Sandals are worn because 
of their lightness and cheapness. Boots are the favourite 
footgear : they have heavy heels, indispensable for marking 
time in the dances. There is a great variety of coats, the 
most common being the sheepskin {cojoc), worn with the wool 
turned inwards. The pieptar, a vest worn both by men and 
by women, is also made from sheepskin. 

Only old men wear beards. The young men shave, but 
always wear moustaches. A man with an entirely clean- 
shaven face is very distasteful to them. A span (a beardless, 
moustacheless man) is looked upon as a very doubtful char- 
acter, and so is a red-haired man. In popular tales both are 
set down as peculiar beings, sure to work mischief wherever 
they come. 


The women's costume also consists of two main garments : 
(a) a robe, reaching to the ankle, with embroideries on all the 
upper part, in coloured cotton, chiefly red and black ; (b) over 
this is a petticoat, varying in type in the different valleys 
and in the various regions of the plains. On the head they 
wear the stergar, a kind of veil (of cotton tissue with silk 
stripes, or of silk with cotton designs), or else a small round 
felt hat (palarie). Around the neck, or on the hair, they wear 
necklaces of coins and beads. Their coats are similar to those 
of the men. Usually they go barefoot, but with their festive 
clothes they wear shoes. 

The material situation of the peasant must not be judged 
by the magnificence of his festival clothes. As among most 
primitive peoples, luxury is sought at the expense of the 
necessary. The costume may be worth hundreds of francs. 
Women and young girls wear their whole fortune in their 
necklaces of gold pieces. 

Cleanliness.— As already indicated, the women are very 
competent and skilled, and are almost universally attentive 
to their home duties. On Saturday afternoon every house- 
wife washes the linen, cleans and scrubs the house ; and in 
the evening all members of the household have a thorough 
washing. In preparation also for Easter the house is cleaned 
from top to bottom, and is whitewashed outside. On the 
whole, however, in the ordinary conditions of their life, 
a scrupulous cleanliness can hardly be counted among the 
virtues of the Roumanian peasants. ' A little dirt brings luck 
to a man's house ' expresses the popular sentiment. Decaying 
refuse of all kinds is thrown into the yard around the houses. 
The sanitary arrangements are of the most primitive and 
careless character. 

Food. — The national dish is mamaliga, a very thick porridge 
or polenta of maize flour. It takes the place of bread. It is 
made fresh for each meal, and eaten warm. It is turned out 
from the round kettle on the carefully scrubbed table, and 
the family sits round on stools or other available supports. 
All make the sign of the Cross, and the men uncover : to eat 


covered is regarded as a sin. The mdmaliga is cut into slices. 
Frequently it is eaten with cheese (brdnzd). The supple- 
mentary fare is a soup, or a chicken or fish stew. Meat 
is rarely used. On fast-days the soup is prepared with vege- 
tables (beans, peas, lentils, beetroot, cabbage), of which stews 
are also made. In the poorest households fast-day fare gener- 
ally consists merely of mdmaliga and of bruised garlic, with 
salt and water. Fruit is eaten with mdmaliga, or is used in 
stews. There is a vessel with water in a corner of the room, 
from which every one helps himself with a small pot. Before 
drinking, some drops are blown over the edge of the pot for 
the spirits of the dead. In summer, meals are carried to the 

Nobility and Upper Classes 

The ancient nobility of Roumania still survives in about 
1,000 boier families. They enjoy, however, no special privi- 
leges. Though in many cases they still own large landed 
estates, power has largely passed from their hands into 
those of the official and professional classes. Their prestige 
is mainly supported by the very large proportion of prominent 
citizens that are recruited from their ranks. 

The absence of a native commercial class of large or petty 
merchants further contributes to the homogeneity of educated 
Roumanian society. The only definitely marked cleavage is 
between the peasants and the governing classes. 

The same love of ornament which the peasants show in 
their costumes has led the upper classes to adopt a luxurious 
and expensive mode of life. They usually live up to, if they 
do not exceed, the limit of their income. The lethargy of the 
peasant is conspicuously absent. They are energetic and 
sanguine, always ready for new enterprises, enjoying the 
present, but confidently basing their plans of life, individual 
and national, upon the harvest of the future. 

Health Conditions 
The hygienic conditions of Roumania are in many respects 
like those of central Europe. There are, however, two 



diseases which are especially prevalent in lioumania — malaria 
and pellagra. 

Malaria exists all along the Danube in Roumania. It is 
prevalent between Calarasi and Galatz, and in the Dobruja, 
Avhere conditions are particularly bad in winter. 

Pellagra is common among the peasants. The origin of 
this disease is obscure ; it seems, however, to be most common 
in countries where maize is the chief food of the people. 
Other authorities incline to the view that it is caused by the 
sandfly. Pellagra is a chronic disease, which results in the 
death of the patient after a few years. Unlike malaria, it 
does not attack strangers to the country. 

The Roumanians are not especially subject to other diseases, 
under normal conditions, though, as indicated in an earlier 
paragraph, the overcrowding of Moldavia during the war was 
accompanied by terrible outbreaks of disease. Epidemics of 
small-pox are fairly frequent, and cholera and typhus have 
visited the country. Strangers should exercise care, owing 
to the variations in climate. 

The census of 1899 divides the population, according to 
religion, as follows : 


Per cent. 

Orthodox .... 0,451,787 


Jewish . 



Roman Catholic 















Not known 





Orthodox Church 
The State Church of Roumania is a branch of the Orthodox 
Eastern Church. Until 1864 the Roumanian Church was 
under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople. 
In that year it was declared independent of ■ alien prelates ' ; 
and in 1872 laws were passed establishing a Holy Synod as 


the supreme authority in all ecclesiastical matters. The 
Synod consists of the two metropolitan archbishops — the 
Archbishop of Hungary- Wallachia, with the additional title, 
Primate of Roumania, and the Archbishop of Moldavia and 
Suceava — the six diocesan bishops, and eight bishops in 
partibus. Appointment of metropolitans and bishops is by 
an electoral college, constituted by the metropolitans, the 
diocesan bishops, the bishops in partibus, and the members 
of the two Chambers, except those who are not Orthodox. 
The election is by a majority in secret ballot. 

The conflict which arose with the Patriarch in consequence 
of the rejection of his jurisdiction in 1872. was settled by 
a compromise in 1885. The independence of the Roumanian 
Church was recognized, and at the same time the Patriarch 
of Constantinople was allowed the rank of highest dignitary 
of the Orthodox Church. 

In 1904 there were 367 urban parishes and 3,306 rural 
parishes, each with its church. There were also 223 auxiliary 
churches in the urban communes, and 2,782 in the rural 
communes. The total of churches for the whole country at 
this date was thus 6,678, with 4,498 officiating priests. The 
clergy was formerly supported by voluntary offerings and 
by small allowances from the communes. Since 1893 the 
State has taken over the entire support of all members of the 
Orthodox clergy. 

The priesthood is recruited from the peasantry ; its intel- 
lectual level is still very low. Secular priests must be married, 
but only the unmarried (i.e. monastic) or the widowed can 
aspire to the higher dignities. The priests are respected by 
the villagers. But the Roumanian peasants, though strict 
observers of the fast or festival days — it is asserted that they 
work only 115 days in the year — are not greatly under priests' 
influence. The power of the Church extends only to the 
external proprieties and to the formal discharge of religious 
rites. The peasants are seldom present at the ordinary 
Church services ; they are content that the priests should 
attend to their punctual performance. Even the simple 


domestic prayers, which have been handed down for genera- 
tions, are ritualistic — for instance, ' Cross in the house, Cross 
on the table, Cross in the four corners of the house ! ' The 
clergy have little influence over the cultivated classes. 

The Greek monasteries, which had come into possession of 
about a fifth of the Roumanian land, were dissolved and their 
property confiscated by the State in 1867. In 1904 there 
were 20 large and 26 small Roumanian monasteries sup- 
ported by the State. The monks and brothers numbered 
861. There were also 21 large and 23 small convents, with 
2,220 nuns and sisters. Each monastery has a guest-house, 
where travellers, are received and very comfortably lodged. 
In addition to the religious houses thus maintained by the 
State, there were 23 small convents privately supported. 
The Government does not now encourage the monastic life. 
Women are not permitted to take full vows until the age of 
forty, or men until the age of sixty. 

Fasts. — The underfeeding of the peasants is accentuated 
by the numerous fasts prescribed by the Church, to which 
reference has been made above. Eating flesh on a pro- 
hibited day is superstition sly regarded as the greatest sin 
possible. The fast-periods are : seven weeks before Easter, 
as many before Christmas ; four weeks in June before 
St. Peter's Day, and two in August before St. Mary's, besides 
the three days of the week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 
During Lent the Roumanian peasant becomes vegetarian, 
with no milk, butter, or eggs, not even olive-oil, which together 
with fish is allowed on certain fast- days — never on a Friday 
or Wednesday. Monday fasting is not quite so universal. 
Very few members of the educated classes observe these 

The rigour with which the peasants observe all the fastings 
and external requirements of the Church seems to be closely 
bound up with their extremely superstitious cast of mind. 
The belief in evil spirits is quite as strong as the belief in God, 
and fear of them is even greater. Only incense and the 
Cross can keep them away. The devil and his hosts arc 


hardly ever spoken of without the addition of the protecting 
formula : ' Golden Cross with us ! ' Ghosts (strafii) of 
deceased men and animals, vampires (strigoi), air and wind 
divinities (iele), &c, are guarded against by making the sign 
of the Cross with the finger. But there are also many other 
precautions, such as throwing shreds on the place where 
one has sat, or not looking behind when walking, and, above 
all, keeping indoors after dark until the fateful hour of mid- 
night is passed. 

The view taken of the festival of the Holy Trinity is 
a very typical mingling of orthodoxy and superstition. 
That day is also the day of the Rusalii, hostile powers who 
frequent the fields and woods from Trinity to St. Peter's Day 
(June 29), raising wind and storms, and also being especially 
dangerous to children, whom they snatch even from their 
mother's arms. No peasant can be induced, by any reward, 
to work on Holy Trinity Day. On its eve twigs of worm- 
wood should be placed under one's pillow ; otherwise, the 
Rusalii may unroof the house and snatch away the inmates. 
On the day itself a bunch of wormwood ought to be worn at 
the belt. 

There is an almost endless number of such superstitious 
practices, some more strictly, and some less strictly, observed. 
The women, in Roumania as elsewhere, are more anxious 
observers of them than the men. 

The religious teaching in the State schools is spreading 
a more enlightened view of the beliefs and ideals represented 
by the Church. The seminaries for the training of the 
clergy are also being improved. Such endeavours have 
hitherto been largely nullified by the absoluteness of the 
breach between the Church and the cultivated classes. 

Other Churches 

All Churches in Roumania, not excepting the Mohammedans 

and the Russian sects, enjoy complete religious freedom. 

This is guaranteed by the provisions of the Constitution. 

The fact of belonging to a foreign faith is not a barrier to the 


possession of full civil and political rights nor to appointments 
under the State. 

The Roman Catholic Church. — Members of the Roman 
Catholic Church are almost invariably aliens, except in some 
villages of the Sereth (Siret) valley (districts of Roman and 
Bacau), in which there is a population of Hungarian origin, 
established since the fifteenth century, and still preserving 
its original Catholic religion. 

The Church is administered in two dioceses : an arch- 
bishop, resident at Bucharest, administers the diocese of 
Wallachia ; a bishop, resident at Jassy, administers the 
diocese of Moldavia. 

There are eight convents, established in the large towns. 
Most of these conduct schools for girls. 

Protestant Churches. — The Lutheran confession is the most 

largely represented of the Protestant Churches in Roumania. 

In 1899 it had 16 churches, with 13,490 adherents, the 

majority of whom were in the rural communes of the Dobruja. 

Calvinism had in 1904 only 5 churches, with 6,743 adherents. 

Anglicanism had 2 churches, with 290 adherents. 

In Moldavia there is a Scottish-Protestant Mission, of old 

standing and small success. Its activities are directed to 

the conversion of the Jews. 

The Armenian Church. — The adherents of the Armenian 
Church are mainly in the large towns. The Armenian 
priests depend directly upon the Gregorian Patriarch of 
Constantinople, who nominates them. 

Lipovans. — The Lipovans or Roscolnitschi are Christian 
sects who have migrated from Russia in order to escape 
persecution. They are established in the north of the 
Dobruja, in the larger towns of Moldavia, and in Bucharest. 
There are 4 sects of Lipovans : (1) the Popovitsi have priests ; 
(2) the Bezpopovitsi have no priests ; (3) the Molokani drink 
milk in their fasts ; (4) the Skoptsi are the eunuchs. 

Jews. — The Jewish religious communities are directed 
by committees, elected by them from among their own 
members. The religious head of a community is the Rabbi, 


nominated by the committee, and chosen from among those 
who have the necessary education. There are no higher 
religious authorities charged with the supervision of the 
various communities. In 1899 there were 603 synagogues 
and houses of prayer, of which 439 were in the urban com- 
munes and 164 in the rural communes. 

At Constanta and elsewhere there are groups of Jews 
called Karaites. They form a separate confession, holding 
to the Old Testament, but rejecting the Talmud. 

Mohammedans. — The Mohammedans, for religious pur- 
poses, form communities in the towns and villages. Each 
religious community supports one or more mosques with their 
officials. Certain urban mosques are maintained by the 
Roumanian Government. The spiritual head of the various 
communes is the Mufti, directly nominated by the Sheikh 
el-Islam at Constantinople. In addition to ecclesiastical 
powers, the Mufti has jurisdiction in regard to marriage, 
divorce, and inheritance of property. 

In 1899 there were in the Dobruja 31 urban mosques (of 
which 11 were maintained by the State) and 183 rural 

For the education of the mosque officials the Roumanian 
Government supports a Mohammedan seminary in the town 
of Medgidia. In 1899 it had 3 professors and 61 students. 


By the Constitution of 1866 it was provided that all educa- 
tion, whether primary, secondary, or at the universities, 
should be free ; and that primary education should be 
obligatory. This latter provision comes into force for each 
locality immediately a State school is established within it. 

The earliest trustworthy statistics of illiteracy are those of 
1899, and the degree of progress made since that date can be 
determined by comparison with the census results of 1912. 
In 1899 78 per cent, of the population over 7 years of age 
were illiterate ; in 1912 the percentage had fallen to 60*7 
per cent. Illiteracy is more common among women than 


among men. In 1912 45-2 per cent, of men and 76-8 per 
cent, of women were illiterate. 

In 1912 about 40 per cent, of the children of school age 
were receiving no education. This is not entirely due to the 
lack of schools. The peasants offer considerable passive 
resistance to the educational endeavours of the State. 
Yet even as matters now stand, there is in Roumania 1 State 
school for every 13,000 inhabitants, against 1 for 18,000 in 
Bulgaria, and 1 for 22,000 in Serbia. In 1912-13 there were 
370 urban and 4,686 rural primary State schools, with 
8,240 teachers and 995,457 pupils. 

In the Dobruja there is a smaller proportion of illiteracy 
than in any other part of Roumania, viz. 54-8 per cent. 

The school-teacher is usually a person of more education 
than the priest, and he plays an increasingly important 
part in the life of the village. The policy of the Govern- 
ment has been to preserve his peasant simplicity. He 
dresses and lives like the other villagers. Attached to the 
school-house is a piece of land of 2\ to 5 acres, part of which 
he uses as a school-garden for instruction in agriculture and 
gardening ; the rest he works himself in the intervals of teach- 
ing. Recently his duties have multiplied in connexion with 
the rural banks and co-operative organizations, which have 
been established by the State for the purpose of freeing the 
peasants from subjection to Jewish and foreign control. 
There is no antagonism between the teacher and the priest. 
In some villages the priest is also the school-teacher. 

There are two main types of secondary school, the lyceum 
and gymnasium on the one hand, and schools with a more 
directly practical aim on the other. The lyceum gives an 
eight years' course in both intermediate and higher studies ; 
the gymnasium gives only a four years' course of intermediate 

In addition to the State schools, above enumerated, there 
is in Roumania a fairly large number of private schools. In 
more recent years the most important of the private institu- 
tions has been the Evangelische Knaben- und Real-schule at 


Bucharest. It was under the control of the German Govern- 
ment, and prior to the war was attended by more pupils than 
any other school in the capital. 

There are two universities with faculties in law, philo- 
sophy, science and medicine, and theology ; one at Bucharest 
(120 professors and lecturers, and 3,422 students), and the 
other at Jassy (60 professors and lecturers, and 534 students). 
There is also at Bucharest an engineering college for instruc- 
tion in the building of roads and bridges. 

Since, as already stated, all education, even in the secondary 
schools and universities, is free, and as there are charitable 
endowments for aiding the poorer students, the children of 
the peasants, when they show special ability and force of 
character, can easily procure the diplomas that open the way 
to all the State services. The result has been a genuine 
democratizing of Roumanian public life. Though a con- 
siderable proportion of the most prominent citizens still come 
from the ancient noble families, the great bulk of the directing 
classes are of humble origin. 

The universities are now in a position to supply native 
training for all the professions ; and the country no longer 
suffers to the same degree as in the past from the aloofness 
and doctrinaire views of a younger generation that has been 
expatriated for a prolonged period during the most impres- 
sionable years. Foreign residence is now a supplement to, 
not a substitute for, home training. The universities, as 
national institutions, play a twofold part. They exercise 
a very considerable influence through the training which they 
give to the higher public servants, nearly all of whom are 
university graduates ; and they strengthen and direct the 
patriotic consciousness through the study of Roumanian 
history, national institutions, and literature. In both respects 
they supply a needed counterpoise to the illiberal tendencies 
of political intrigue, in which, as observed below, the whole 
civil service tends to participate. 

The Roumanian Academy was founded in 1887, chiefly in 
order that it might prepare a uniform Grammar and Etymo- 


logical Dictionary of the Roumanian language. Of the 
latter at least three volumes have been published. The 
Academy is also editing the original sources of Roumanian 
history : thirty -five volumes have already appeared. The 
Geographical Society, which was founded in 1875, has pub- 
lished a Geographical Dictionary in five handsome volumes, 
and has also published similar dictionaries for the provinces 
of Bessarabia and Bukovina. 

State Service and the Professions 
Educated Roumanians, with very few exceptions, either 
practise a liberal profession (combined generally with politics), 
or enter the Government service in some of its many branches. 
The following figures were given in 1904 : 

State officials 102,560 

Ecclesiastics (priests and monks) . . 12,000 

Teachers 6,000 

Army officers . . . . 4,000 

Advocates 1,700 

Judicial magistrates and officials . . 963 

They are disinclined for an independent commercial or 
industrial career. This is the reason why the factories of 
cloth, sugar, glass, &c, the exploitation of the oil-fields, the 
banks, the large businesses of import and export, the shops 
in the towns are almost entirely in the hands of Jews and 
aliens. A criticism often passed upon present-day Roumania 
is that the Roumanians tend to rely too exclusively upon 
Government initiative : the Government may be reasonably 
effective, but it is not supplemented by individual enterprise. 
This concentration of the educated Roumanians on politics 
and a State career, coupled, as it is, with the acceptance of 
the ' spoils ' system in the State appointments, has had the 
further effect of rendering party strife extremely violent. The 
press, too, is very personal in its controversial methods. 
There is, however, absolute freedom of speech, press, and 
assembly. King Carol, notwithstanding repeated provoca- 
tion, consistently throughout his whole reign refused to permit 


prosecutions for lese-majeste. The constitutional safeguards 
of political liberty have in these matters been respected 
in spirit and in letter, alike by the executive and by the 


The speech of the Roumanians is descended from ' rustic ' 
Latin which was spoken by the Roman colonists of Moesia 
and Dacia. About the sixth century these colonists were cut 
off from the rest of the Roman world, and for over a thousand 
years have been surrounded by Slavonic or Magyar speaking 
peoples. That numerous Slavonic words should have been 
adopted into the Roumanian vocabulary was only natural. 
The proportion of Slavonic to Latin words in Roumanian 
to-day is about three to two. Nevertheless Roumanian is 
a genuinely Latin or rather ' Romance ' tongue, in the same 
degree as modern English is a ' Germanic ' tongue in spite of 
its large Romance vocabulary. 

In the course of the last century the Roumanians regained 
consciousness of their Latin origin ; they applied themselves 
to the study of the classics, and endeavoured to assimilate 
Italian and especially French civilization. They discarded 
the Cyrillic alphabet and adopted in its place twenty-three 
Latin characters. The letters are the same as in the English 
alphabet, with the omission of g, w, and y. In order to provide 
equivalents for each of the thirty-eight Cyrillic characters, 
diacritical marks or accents were freely introduced. The 
spelling is a mere transliteration of the Cj^rillic writing and 
consequently archaic. For example a, e and 6 are all pro- 
nounced like the vowel sound in French ' feu ' ; 1 is almost 
mute, and at the end of a word merely modifies the preceding 
consonant, e. g. barbat, man ; bdrbati, men (pronounced bar- 
batsh) ; u is not pronounced at all ; a, e, i, and u, retained on 
purely etymological grounds, all represent the same obscure 
sound, resembling ' u ' in English ' cur ', pronounced well 
down in the throat. During the last twenty years, however, 
a movement for the introduction of a more phonetic spelling 



has made much progress, and recent Roumanian books use a 
almost exclusively. 

The vowels without diacritics are pronounced practically as 
in Italian, i.e., a as in English ' far ', e as the vowel sound in 
' late ', i as that in ' team ', o as that in ' note ' and u as that 
in ' pool \ but without the slight diphthongization peculiar to 
English pronunciation. E before another vowel is palatalized, 
ea, for example, being pronounced like ya in English ' yard '. 

Among consonants, c is the only one which presents any 
difficulty. It follows the same rules as in Italian, i. e. it is 
pronounced like k except before e and i, where it has the 
sound of English ch in ' church ', e. g., lunca, meadow (pro- 
nounced loonker), but cer, sky (pronounced chare). When c 
is to be pronounced k before e or i it is written ch, e. g. chebe 
(pronounced caber), a cloak as worn in Moldavia, d is a variant 
way of writing z, but is now practically obsolete ; h is always 
strongly aspirated like ch in Scottish ' loch ' ; j is like j in 
French ' jour ', or s in English ' measure ' ; s and $ are pro- 
nounced like sh and ts, e. g. Jafi, in English known as Jassy, 
is pronounced ' Jash ', Husi is pronounced Hoosh ; fapas is 
pronounced ' tsepos '. 

Roumanian grammar, as already stated, is derived from 
Latin, and presents, on the whole, the same characteristics as 
any other Romance language, the most important difference 
being that in Roumania the definite article is placed at the 
end of the word and added to it, e. g. om, man ; omul, the 
man ; oamenii, the men. It is worth noticing that the 
Albanians also use the definite article as a suffix, and that their 
language is descended from the ancient Thraco-Illyrian tongue, 
which was spoken all over the Balkan peninsula, and in what is 
now Roumania, before the coming of the Romans. The definite 
article is, however, occasionally found as al before a genitive or 
possessive, especially before a numeral, e. g. catul al doilea, the 
second floor. It is found as eel before an adjective following 
the noun, e. g. omul eel negru, the black man. Proper names 
also, if in the genitive or dative case, are used with the definite 
article in front of them, e. g. Traianuh the Trajan; valul lux 


Traian, Trajan's wall. The indefinite article un (masc), o 
(fern.) precedes its noun as a separate word. 

In the matter of declension Roumanian resembles Italian 
very closely, except that it has preserved traces of the Latin 
dative (chiefly used as genitive), and has added a non-Latin 
vocative case to names of persons, e. g., Anico, vocative of 
Anica. The presence of the agglutinative article gives, how- 
ever, a peculiar character to the declension of the noun. 
The two principal types of declensions are illustrated by the 
following examples : 

Type I (socru, father-in-law) Type II (mama, mother) 
Sing. Nom. Ace. socrul mama 

Dat. (Genitive) socrului mamel 

Plur. Nom. Ace. socrii mamele 

Dative (Genitive) socrilor mamelor 

The genders in Roumanian are masculine and feminine. 
There is also a so-called neuter gender, consisting of words 
which are declined like socru in the singular and like mama in 
the plural. They are chiefly derived from neuter Latin words. 

There are three conjugations in Roumanian and very few 
irregular verbs. Peculiar to this language is the formation of 
the future by means of the auxiliary ' will ' and not by 
agglutination of ' have ' as in most of the other Romance 
languages, e. g. vol jura corresponds to French (je) jurerai, 
I shall swear. 

The varieties of dialect between Wallachia, Moldavia, and 
Transylvania are insignificant. But the small Roumanian 
communities scattered over Macedonia, especially to the east 
of Yanina, speak a peculiar dialect. 

Roumanian literature has taken shape under Slav and 
Hellenic influences. The written language was Roumanian, 
but the style was foreign. There are three well-marked 
periods in its development : (1) the Slav period, from the 
middle of the sixteenth century to 1710 ; (2) the Greek 

F 2 


period, from 1710 to about 1830 ; (3) the modern period, 
from 1830 to the present. 

The modern period opens with writers of latinizing ten- 
dencies, Lazar, Eliade, Bolintineanu, Alexandrescu, Alec- 
sandri, and Eminescu. All of these devoted their talents to 
strengthening the patriotic movement. This movement was 
reinforced by the historians Balcescu and Odobescu. The 
last-named also created the Roumanian historical novel. The 
best history of Roumania is the Geschichte des Rumanischen 
Volkes, by N. Jorga, an eminent politician, and professor at 
the University of Bucharest, published in 1905. 

Alecsandri, the poet, was the first to collect (in the middle 
of the nineteenth century) the Roumanian popular songs and 
ballads. The Roumanian folk-literature, both religious and 
secular, is large and varied. 

In spite, however, of official encouragement, Roumanian 
literature has in the last few decades declined both in quantity 
and in quality. This is probably in large part due to the 
popularity of French literary works. As the latter have an 
established prestige and create a very exacting standard of 
excellence, they are apt to discourage native talent. The 
writer in Roumanian has also to resist the appeal of the wider 
audience, to which use of the French language gives him access. 

On the other hand, public speaking, for which the Rou- 
manians have a natural gift, plays a very important part 
in the public life of the country. The historical and natural 
sciences are also very successfully cultivated. 

The effect of the fall of Bucharest upon the press in 1916 
was serious for a time, and many newspapers were forced to 
suspend publication, but later some of these reappeared, and 
also a considerable number of new journals. According to 
a list dated September 1917, the following were published at 
Jassy : Monitorul Oficial, an official gazette ; Desbaterile 
Parlamentare, an official report of parliamentary debates ; 
L' Indepetidance Roumai?ie (previously of Bucharest), a moder- 
ate Liberal organ, the principal medium for the conveyance 
of Roumanian opinion to foreign countries ; Mifcatea, a 


liberal -governmental organ, belonging to J assy ; Evenimentul, 
conservative and conservative-democratic ; Actsiunea Ro- 
mdnd, conservative-democratic ; Opinio, , a journal of no very 
steady political bias ; Romania, nationalist ; Neamul Ro- 
mdnesc, nationalist and anti-Semitic. The Conservative 
Epoca reappeared in the following month. In Bucharest at 
the same time were appearing Agrarul, an organ of the Con- 
servative landed proprietors ; Bukar ester Tageblatt, an organ 
of the Germans in Bucharest before the war, and Gazeta 
Bucureshtilor and Saptamdna Illustrata, both new pro-German 
journals. To this last group may be added Ranasteria and 
Momentul, but there is no evidence to show how their policy, 
or indeed their existence, may have been affected by the 
collapse of Germany. Other journals mentioned as appearing 
more recently are Steagul, a Government organ, of Bucharest ; 
Indreptarea and Gazeta Poporului, supporters of General 
Avarescu's ' People's League ' ; Muncitorul and Social- 
Democratsia, both social-democratic organs, the latter a recent 
creation as the official organ of the Socialist Congress ; Timpul ; 
Lumina ; and Iashul, the accredited organ of the Government 
in Jassy (September 1918). 

Roumanians outside Roumania 
Though almost half its members are outside the limits of the 
kingdom, the Roumanian people as a whole is remarkably 
unified both geographically and linguistically. With the sole 
exception of the Kutso Vlachs (Macedo-Roumanians or 
Arumani), they are all in immediate contact in the area 
enclosed by the Danube, the Theiss, and the Dneister ; and 
they all speak one and the same language with only slight 
differences of dialect. In round numbers the distribution of 
the Roumanian race is as follows : 

Kingdom of Roumania (total population 7,600,000) 
Transylvania ..... 

Other parts of Hungary 

Bukovina . . . 

Bessarabia ...... 

Serbia and Bulgaria .... 

Macedonia (Kutso Vlachs) 










Allowing for the probable underestimates of the Hungarian 
and Austrian provinces, the Roumanians total about thirteen 
millions. They inhabit a compact block of territory in which 
they form three-quarters of the population ; of the non- 
Roumanians nearly a million are Magyars., the Szeklers who 
form a linguistic enclave on the west side of the Eastern Car- 
pathians. The Roumanians are more numerous than other 
peoples in the Balkan and Danubian systems : the Yugo-Slavs 
(Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes) taken together number eleven 
millions ; the Magyars, even at their own estimate, are only 
about ten millions ; and the Bulgarians number less than six 

Roumanians in Hungary 

The districts of Hungary which have a large Roumanian 
population are Transylvania, and the eastern portion of the 
Alfold. The Roumanians of these areas number more than 
2,900,000, a little over 46 per cent, of the total population. 
In Transylvania the proportion of Roumanians to the total 
population is 55 per cent. 

One result of the battle of Koniggratz in 1866 was that 
the Magyar element in Hungary secured political supremacy 
which it used to attempt to magyarize all the other peoples. 
The Ausgleich (Compromise) of 1867 gave Transylvania to 
Hungary, and a laV guaranteeing equal rights to the various 
nationalities of Hungary was passed in 1868. This law 
remained a dead letter. Section 7 states that every inhabi- 
tant of the country can employ his mother tongue before his 
communal or district court. In 1870 the old county courts 
were abolished and the rights of the nationalities were not 
extended to the new courts established. Section 17 pledges 
the State to give instruction in their mother tongue to all 
pupils in the primary and secondary schools. So far from 
carrying out this agreement the Hungarian Parliament on 
various occasions passed measures for the magyarization 
of Roumanian schools. The latest of these was the Apponyi 
Law of 1907, which was rigorously enforced. The rights of 
association granted by Section 26 were disregarded. Church 


autonomy was on the whole respected, though the Congress 
of the Roumanian Orthodox Church was on six occasions 
prevented from meeting, and on one occasion the election of 
a Roumanian metropolitan was annulled. 

Repeated demands of the Roumanian population for the 
recognition of their nationality either had no effect or resulted 
in systematic repression. Between 1886 and 1908 no less 
than 114 Roumanian political trials took place on various 
charges, the commonest apparently being ' instigation against 
Magyar nationality \ Only 3-2 per cent, of the population 
of Transylvania had full citizen rights as compared with 
6-1 per cent, for Hungary as a whole, and the qualification 
was from three to six times higher in the rural districts, where 
the Roumanians are in a large majority, than it was in the 
urban. The constituencies were in many cases so delimited 
as to make it difficult for the non-Magyar population to vote. 
It frequently happened at election time that bridges were 
broken down or declared unsafe for traffic in order to render 
it impossible for opposition votes to be recorded. The use of 
vehicles for the conveyance of voters was frequently for- 
bidden, and every opportunity was taken, legal or otherwise, 
of disqualifying non-Magyar votes. When all other methods 
failed intimidation by the military was employed and fre- 
quently resulted in bloodshed. Despite all these facts it must 
be recorded that the Magyar yoke fell less heavily upon the 
Roumanians than upon the Slav ' subject races ' of Hungary. 
Because the Roumanians inhabited a distant and compara- 
tively inaccessible mountainous portion of Hungary the Magyar 
ruling caste tended on the whole to neglect the Roumanian 
at the same time as it actively oppressed the Slovaks. The 
Roumanian peasant in Transylvania suffered for many 
decades at the hands of the Germans .(Saxons) who were 
settled in the better portions of the Transylvanian plateau. 
The Roumanians in Hungary are in conflict with the Yugo- 
slavs for the possession of the eastern third — the mountainous 
portion — of the Banat between the Maros and the Danube. 

Before the outbreak of war the Roumanians of Hungary 


could count on the sympathy of their free kinsmen over the 
frontier, but political reunion was regarded as impracticable. 
During the life of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, an advocate 
of ' Home Rule ' for the nationalities of the Austro-Hungarian 
monarchy, they continued to hope for reform from within on 
his accession. The inevitable result of his assassination was 
to make them realize that help could come only from outside. 
During the war the Roumanians in the Habsburg armies 
were used without mercy. Trials for treason were frequent, 
and many of the civilian refugees fled to Roumania, where, 
in spite of invitations to return, they preferred to remain. 
At last, in November 1918, the way seemed open to reunion. 
On November 20 delegates of the National Council of Tran- 
sylvania arrived at Jassy to notify the Roumanian Government 
their decision to proclaim union with Roumania as soon as 
protection against Hungarian troops could be insured, and 
on November 29 a delegation from the National Council of 
Bukovina arrived with a similar purpose. 

Roumanians in the Bukovina 

Before the annexation of the province by Austria in 1775 
(cf. Chapter VI), it belonged to Moldavia. The metropolitan 
of Jassy still bears the title of ' Primate of Moldavia and 
Suceava '. 

The population is mainly Ruthenian and Roumanian, of 
whom the former occupy roughly the north and centre, the 
latter the south-west and south-east parts. According to the 
latest available census (1910) there were 273,284 inhabitants 
of Roumanian speech out of a total population of 794,929. 

The administration has been generally lenient. German is 
the official language, as is only natural in view of the great 
mixture of races. The Germans have done much for the 
people by introducing western ideas to an eastern people. 

Of late there have been some attempts to suppress the 
Roumanian Orthodox Church by introducing Ruthenian 
Uniate clergy and schools. 


Roumanians in Bessarabia 

After the cession of Bessarabia in 1878 (see Chapter VI) 
considerable attempts were made to russianizs the Roumanian 
inhabitants. Many of the boiers were absorbed by the 
Russian nobility. The large Roumanian population is in the 
main illiterate. 

Repressive measures were somewhat relaxed of later year. 1 -', 
and the use of the Roumanian language was permitted in the 
churches. The consistory of the Bessarabian Church was 
completely nationalized in 1918, and it was decreed that its 
deliberations should be in the Roumanian language. This 
took place, of course, after the reunion of Bessarabia with 
Roumania (see Chapter VI), a process effected without much 
difficulty on national questions, although it was necessary to 
remove a number of agitators against Roumania. 

Roumanians in Macedonia 

One of the results of the Slav invasions of the seventh 
century was that the romanized inhabitants north of the 
Danube became separated from those of the lull country to 
the south. The descendants of the latter still call themselves 
Arumani. They are generally referred to by outsiders as 
Kutso Vlachs. 

This southern population, whose numbers are variously 
estimated by the best authorities at from 373,520 to 500,000, 
is found scattered in small settlements from Bulgaria and 
Serbia in the north to Acarnania in the south. It is in the 
main pastoral and semi-nomadic, spending the summer in 
the hills and migrating to the plains for the winter. 

The migratory habits of the Kutso Vlachs, and the fact 
that they do not occupy completely any large area, have pre- 
vented the growth of national feeling, and apparently they are 
being gradually assimilated by the neighbouring races. The 
Roumanians, however, preserve a sense of the common origin 
of Roumanian and Arumanian, which led to an arrangement 
with Turkey in 1905, whereby the Porte recognized the Kutso 
Vlachs as a separate nationality. 


Ill-treatment of the Arumanian population by Greeks 
caused a rupture of diplomatic relations between Roumania 
and Greece in 1905, 1906, and 1910. 

Foreigners in Roumania 
Roughly one-eighth of the population of Roumania consists 
of foreigners. 

The totals showing nationalities of the census of 1912 have 
not yet been published. The figures for 1899 (including the 
Old Dobruja) are as follows : 

Roumanians . . . . . 5,489,29(5 

Subjects of other States : 

Austro- Hungarians .... 104,108 

Turks 22,989 

Greeks 20,057 

Italians . . . . . . 8,841 

Bulgarians 7,964 

Germane 7,636 

Russians . . . . . . 4,201 

Serbians 3,989 

French 1,564 

Various. . . . . . . 1,626 

Jews : 

Subjects of other States . . . - . 5,859 

Under Roumanian protection . . . 256,588 

Others of foreign extraction under Roumanian 
protection 22,072 

The Old Dobruja. — In the Old Dobruja the Roumanian 
population extends through all parts. It forms the predomi- 
nant element along the whole right bank of the Danube, but 
thins out as the coast is approached. On the coast itself the 
Roumanians are most numerous in the region S. of Constanta ; 
to the N. they predominate in the district of Enisala, in the 
area E. of Tulcea and Kataloi, and at Kara Orman, Sulina 
and Kilia. 

Bulgars predominate along the southern boundary of the 
Old Dobruja and in the northern coast region between Tulcea 
and Kapu Midia. There is also a small Bulgar area around 


Turks and Tatars are distributed throughout the whole of 
the Old Dobruja, but chiefly in the middle and southern regions. 

German areas are found in various parts, the largest being 
around Cogalac, Atmagea, and Cogea Ali. 

Russians are chiefly found in the delta of the Danube ; but 
they have also settled to the SE. of Braila and SW. of 

The Jews, Greeks, and Armenians, here as elsewhere,, arc 
found almost exclusively in the towns. 

The Dobruja villages are, as a rule, homogeneous in popu- 
lation, the various races segregating to form separate villages. 
They do so even when they appear to inhabit the same town. 
Thus, 1,000 Roumanians, 1,000 Bulgarians, 1,000 Turks, 
1,000 Gipsies do not compose a town of 4,000 ; they form 
only four juxtaposed villages, each of 1,000 souls. This is 
true of such towns as Mangalia, Babadag, and Medgidia. 

As the figures showing nationalities at the census of 1912 
have not yet been issued, the only available statistics of 
foreign elements in the Old Dobruja date from 1903 : 

Moumanians ...... 245,742 

Subjects of other States : 

Turks . • . . . . . . 15,974 

Greeks 4,219 

Austro-Hungarians . . . . . 3,117 

Italians 1,603 

Russians ...... 1,339 

Bulgarians ...... 1,105 

Germans ...... 399 

French 120 

Serbians ....... 59 

Various 220 

Jews : 
Subjects of other States . . # . . 242 

Under Roumanian protection . . . 977 

Others of foreign extraction under Roumanian 
'protection (Gipsies, naturalized Bulga- 
rians, &c.) ...... 2,762 


The New Dobruja. — In the area annexed in 1913, Turks and 
Bulgarians form the great bulk of the population. The Turks 



are in a more or less compact body in the central region, con- 
tinuous with the region which they occupy in northern Bul- 
garia. The Bulgarians are mainly found along the right bank 
of the Danube, along the boundary line of the Old Dobruja, 
and in the coast region. 

There are no recent statistics procurable of the foreign 
elements in the New Dobruja. The following figures, on a 

asis, are from Bulgarian statistics of 190 

Turks 123,848 



Tatars . 


Gipsies . 








Greeks . 








French . 




Since 1913 there has been an extensive emigration of Bul- 
garians and Turks, and a very considerable immigration of 
Roumanians. The Turks and Bulgarians still, however, form 
the great majority of the population. 

A few brief notes may be added in regard to the character 
of the various foreign races in Roumania. 

Jews. — The Roumanian Jews have nearly all come from 
Austria and the Polish provinces of Russia ; and they speak 
a bastard German, the idiom of the Galician and Polish Jews. 
There has been an immigration into Roumania from early 
times, but it became considerable in Moldavia only in the 
nineteenth century, especially in the period 1831 to 1838, 
when the number of Jews doubled. The migration of Jews from 
Moldavia into Wallachia commenced after 1860. At that date 
there were in Wallachia 9,234 inhabitants of Jewish religion : 
forty years later there were 65,000. The immense majority 
of the present generation of Jews have been born in Roumania ; 
and in addition to their own language, they speak Roumanian, 
though with a distinct accent. 


Together with foreigners, especially Greeks and Armenians, 
the Jews constitute about two-thirds of the commercial and 
industrial classes of Roumania : in certain localities of Mol- 
davia the Jews form, by themselves, 90 per cent, of these 
classes. They practise all trades. In Moldavia they also act 
as foremen on the large estates. They are found, however, 
chiefly in the towns ; restrictive laws prevent their settling, in 
any numbers, in the rural communes. More recently it has 
become illegal for Jews to sell alcohol or any of the State 
monopolies ; and the profession of inn-keeping (previously 
practised by them in Moldavia) has passed into the hands of 

The majority of the Jews of the Dobruja, and perhaps a 
certain number of those in Moldavia are probably descended 
from Germans, Slavs, or Tatars judaized in the sixth to the 
ninth century. This is especially true of the group of the 
so-called Karaites, found at Constanta and elsewhere. 

Number and, Distribution of Jews. — The following figures, 
taken from the 1912 census, give the number of Jews 
professing the Jewish religion, and therefore include (1) Jews 
who have become naturalized Roumanian citizens, (2) Jews 
who are subjects of other countries, (3) Jews who enjoy no 
foreign protection. The total is given as 239,967 (this is apart 
from the New Dobruja), i.e. 33 Jews per 1,000 inhabitants. 
This is the fourth highest percentage in Europe, and places 
Roumania immediately after Austria, Hungary, and Russia. 
The distribution in the historical divisions is as follows : 

Total of 


Per cent 


. 2,139,154 

. 3,302,430 








7,234,919 239,967 3-3 

The proportion of Jews in the rural communes (45,486) to 
the rest of the rural inhabitants is only 0-77 per cent., distri- 

1 Apart from the New Dobruja. 


buted very unequally in the different divisions. The number 
of Jews in the rural communes of Muntenia (910), Oltenia 
(226), and Dobruja (247) is insignificant ; while in rural Mol- 
davia there are 44,103, representing 2-52 per cent, of the total 
of the rural inhabitants. 

The distribution of the Jews in the towns is : 

Total of 
town inhabitants. 


Per cen 









1,330,132 194,481 14-62 

In four Moldavian towns the Jews represent more than 
50 per cent, of the total population ; and in ten towns 25 to 
50 per cent. Outside Moldavia the proportion of Jews exceeds 
10 per cent, in only two towns — Braila (14-25 per cent.) and 
Bucharest (12-79 per cent.). The number of Jews in Bucharest 
is 43,652, in Jassy 31,843. Botosani and Galatz come next 
with 14,828 and 12,120 respectively. 

Since 1900 the number of Jews has decreased. In 1899 the 
number was 266,652, in 1912 239,967, showing a decrease of 
26,685, i. e. 10 per cent. If we further allow for the excess of 
Jewish births over Jewish deaths in the intervening 12 years 
the total diminution in the number of Jews must be 70,000, 
i. e. 26 per cent. The decline is due to the extensive emigra- 
tion caused by anti -Jewish legislation which began in 1900 and 
continued with intensity till 1908. The diminution has, 
however, occurred almost entirely in Moldavia. In Muntenia 
and Oltenia, owing to the migration of Jews from Moldavia, 
the number of Jews has increased. 

The Jewish Question. — Feeling against the Jews runs very 
high in Roumania ; and the Jewish question is complex and 
controversial. The question may be summarized here, as its 
influence cannot be expected speedily to disappear, although 
one of the first measures of reconstruction after the war dealt 
(though its thoroughness was doubted) with Jewish emancipa- 


tion, and a law was promulgated in September 1918. The 
Roumanians maintain that the Jews remain foreigners, 
refusing to participate in the national life or even to learn 
the Roumanian language. Families, it is contended, which 
have been resident in Roumania for several generations, 
still speak Roumanian with a foreign accent. Before they 
claim citizenship they ought to show that they have adopted 
the national ideals and have ceased to represent German 
or other foreign influences. The Jews are also accused 
of exercising a malign influence upon the peasants, taking 
advantage of their lack of thrift, and in general of exploiting 
their various weaknesses. A third accusation is that they 
support one another in acquiring a monopoly of commerce 
and industry. On these grounds the Roumanians defend the 
present law which requires a special vote of the Chambers on 
each application for naturalization. Although for the most 
part not naturalized, the Jews are all subject to the law of 
military service. 

The Jews urge, in reply, that they are ostracized, and that 
only through naturalization can they acquire the opportunity 
for identifying themselves with the national life. The inferior 
conditions of peasant life in Moldavia, compared with other 
parts of the country, are not due, they maintain, to the larger 
proportion of Jews in this region, but to old-time political 
influences that have generated an inferior type of peasant, and 
hindered the improvement of social conditions. They deny 
that they exact excessive rates of interest, and claim that 
their monopolization of industry and commerce is due to the 
Roumanian's own preference for State service and the pro- 
fessions. They also point to the fact that when anti- Jewish 
legislation led to an extensive emigration of Jews in 1900-8, 
the resulting disorganization of the general life compelled the 
Roumanians to recognize the value and beneficence of Jewish 
industry, and in consequence virtually to withdraw many of 
the laws, by not enforcing them. 

Gipsies. — The Gipsies seem to be of the same race as the 
' Bohemians ' of other countries. Their number is difficult to 


estimate : probably it is about 200,000. They were in a state 
of slavery until 1843 ; and their blood is now very mixed. 
They are almost incorrigible nomads, and still for the most 
part live in a parasitic manner, exhibiting all the usual qualities 
and defects of the Gipsy race. Many of them, however, have 
settled in the towns and villages, and are being slowly assimi- 
lated. When they thus become sedentary, they generally 
prove intelligent and industrious artisans. Those who have 
performed their term of military service regard themselves as 
rehabilitated, and resent being called Gipsies. As musicians, 
and in other callings, a number have passed into the middle 1 
class, and are received on terms of social equality. 

The Gipsies tend to monopolize the handicrafts in which 
skill and ingenuity are necessary. In the villages it is always 
a Gipsy who is the smith and tinker. In the towns they are 
also carpenters and masons. Under all circumstances they 
preserve their inbred love of music. 

Bulgarians. — Apart from those Bulgarians who have perma- 
nently settled in Roumania and have become naturalized 
Roumanian citizens, there has hitherto been a large number 
of immigrant Bulgarians in all parts of Roumania, especially 
in the neighbourhood of the towns and large villages of the 
plains. They were chiefly occupied in market-gardening, and 
generally returned to their own country after a few years. 

Turks and Tatars. — The Turks make excellent colonists. 
They are trustworthy, energetic, and sober. This is also true 
of the Tatars. They are allowed complete freedom in the 
practice of the Moslem faith. Those who have permanently 
settled have the reputation of being loyal Roumanian citizens. 

Greeks and Armenians. — The Greeks and Armenians, like 
the Jews, are chiefly found in the towns, especially in those on 
the Danube and on the coast. Both are engaged in commerce ; 
the former also devote themselves to navigation. The Greeks, 
on making a competency, frequently emigrate ; the Armenians 
are more stable residents. 

Germans. — There are three distinct groups of Germans in 
Roumania : (1) those who have immigrated from the old 


Saxon settlements in Transylvania ; (2) the German colonists 
of the Dobruja ; (3) Germans who have come more recently. 
The Transylvanian Germans are chiefly artisans, merchants, 
and members of the liberal professions. The Dobruja colonists, 
on the other hand, are exclusively agricultural. They estab- 
lished themselves in the Dobruja in the sixties, while it was 
still a province of the Turkish empire. They possess the 
German virtues of efficiency, order, and cleanliness. They 
preserve their German customs and ways of living, but have 
hitherto been loyal and devoted citizens of Roumania. The 
more recently arrived German residents are considered in the 
following section. 

Russians. — The Russians, as a rule, belong to one or other 
of the Lipovan sects. 1 When they are of the Skoptsi sect, they 
act as coachmen in Bucharest and in all the larger towns. 
They marry, but after the birth of the first, or at most of the 
second child, the men, and sometimes also the women, sexually 
mutilate themselves. The other Lipovans in Roumania are 
usually fishermen. Their villages are scattered throughout the 
delta of the Danube. 

Foreign Influences 

Foreign countries, especially France and Germany, have 
profoundly influenced even the strictly national life of the 
upper classes ; and to understand the parts which they have 
played, a brief historical survey is indispensable. 

French Influence. — French influence has acted through the 
French language, which since the eighteenth century has 
come more and more to be the language used by all educated 
Roumanians in their intercourse with one another. This did 
not come about owing to any consciousness of community 
with the Latin races ; it was due to a more or less accidental 
combination of circumstances in the period of the Phanariot 
regime. French was the language of diplomacy ; and the 
Greek residents of the Phanar were compelled to master the 
French language in order to obtain office under the Turkish 
1 Cf. p. 70. 



Government. They offered themselves as interpreters, and 
passed, by way of the office of Grand Dragoman, to a throne 
in Roumania. As hospodars they brought a French escort in 
their train ; and the Roumanian boiers soon found that if 
they were to hold their own at Court they must also acquire 
a thorough knowledge of the French tongue. It was in this 
way that the French influence first became established in 

French was long the only language ordinarily employed 
by educated Roumanians in their social intercourse ; it is 
also the language of the Court. Roumanian is used only in 
speaking with the uneducated and, as required by law, in the 
schools, the Chambers, and the courts. Several of the 
Bucharest newspapers, including the official organs of each 
of the three chief political parties, were printed in French ; and 
there are several French reviews. Almost the only light 
literature that is read consists of books imported from France. 
Roumania was thus prepared, upon the rise of a national 
consciousness in the period subsequent to the French Revo- 
lution, at once to imbibe democratic principles and to recog- 
nize and welcome the ancient ties which bind them to the 
Latin race. French institutions and law have been built into 
the fabric of the Roumanian Constitution, and French ideas 
form the staple factors in the general thought and ideals of 
the cultivated classes. The great majority (until 1870, the 
overwhelming majority) of their political leaders, jurists, 
engineers, and scholars have been trained in Paris. In 1913, 
out of nine members of the Roumanian Cabinet, six were 
Paris graduates. The Roumanian colony in Paris is, propor- 
tionately to population, the largest foreign colony in France. 
National feeling first appeared, not in Roumania itself, but 
among the Transylvanians, who were then, and still are, 
without any general acquaintance with French. For this, 
and for other easily understandable reasons, there has been 
a reaction against the excessive employment of a foreign 
tongue ; and under the leadership of the Roumanian Academy 
much has been done in rendering the mother tongue suitable 


for modern needs. It has been freed of many of its Slav, 
Turkish, and Magyar accretions, and has been enriched by 
the adoption of terms from Latin and French. The latter 
process has been facilitated by the general knowledge of 
French. Ancient texts, popular idioms, and the special 
vocabularies of the different provinces have also been drawn 
upon. Should the Roumanians of Transylvania be emanci- 
pated from Magyar rule and united with the present kingdom, 
the native speech would probably again come into universal 

German Influence. — After 1870 German interests steadily 
increased in prestige and influence. This was aided by the 
German affiliations of the Court and by political circum- 
stances emphasizing the need for closer association with the 
Central Powers. But the chief cause has been the influx 
of German trade and of German capital. Both France 
and England seemed to forget the importance of Roumanian 
friendship and markets. Many army officers also passed 
yearly through the German military academies : they had 
no access to those of France. The German universities 
attracted an increased number of Roumanian students ; and 
already in 1906 the importation of German books actually 
exceeded, in weight avoirdupois, that of French books — the 
former being chiefly scientific works, and the latter literature 
of more general interest. Considerable influence was also exer- 
cised by the German schools scattered over the country. 
They have been supervised and subsidized by the German 
and Austrian Governments. The Junimea (Youth), a literary 
association, was founded in Jassy in 1865 by a group of young 
men educated in Germany. From it sprang the advanced 
conservative party, whose members are known as Junimisti. 

Attitude to Foreigners. — The attitude of the Roumanian 
peasant towards foreigners is chiefly determined by external 
differences. As the Turks, Tatars, and Armenians eat fat on 
Fridays, and do not make the sign of the Cross, the Roumanians 
regard themselves as having nothing in common with them. 
Towards foreigners of other Christian faiths feelings are 

g 2 


regulated by the same principle. If they eat fat on a Friday, 
they are unclean (spurcati) ; if not, they are possible friends. 
On the whole the Roumanian peasant, with all his super- 
stitions, is tolerant and large-minded. He tends indeed to 
look down upon strangers, and has very definite traditional 
prejudices against the Russians, the Bulgarians, and the 
Turks. The Greek, too, is frequently spoken of in Roumanian 
folklore with contemptuous epithets. But their antagonism 
is always more passive than active. They do not persecute, 
and are ready to acknowledge good qualities. Thus the 
cleanliness of the Armenian houses and the careful eating of 
the Jews are done justice to in the proverb : ' Sleep with the 
Armenian, eat with the Jew.' 



Central government — Local government — Judiciary. 

Central Government 

The kingdom of Roumania is a constitutional and hereditary 
monarchy, with a national representation consisting of two 
Chambers. The Constitution was voted (June 30, 1866) by 
a Constituent Assembly, elected by universal suffrage. This 
Constitution, as modified in 1879, 1884, and 1917, is still 
in force. It guarantees to all Roumanian citizens equality 
of civil rights, and also freedom of conscience and religious 
worship, of education, and of the press, and the right of 
peaceful assembly. The State religion is that of the Orthodox 
Church. By a law of 1893 the maintenance of the Church 
and of the clergy is included in the general budget of the 
country, the priests being State officials. 

The powers which the Constitution assigns to the King, 
Legislative Chambers, Ministers of State, and Judiciary are 
as follows : 

Prerogatives of the Crown 

(1) The Crown is hereditary, descending in the direct male 
line. (2) The executive power belongs to the Crown. All 
administrative officials act in the name of the King, and 
under his supreme control. He appoints and dismisses 
all State officials, including the Ministers of State. He 
cannot, however, create any new functions not previously 
provided for by law. (3) The King is the head of the army 
in time of peace, and its commander-in-chief in time of war. 
(4) The King has the right of pardon, that is, of remitting, 
in whole or part, punishments imposed by the criminal 
courts. He has also the right of amnesty, except in the 


case of .Ministers of State who have been condemned for 
acts done in their official capacity. (5) The King con- 
vokes the legislative Chambers annually, on November 15, 
in ordinary session which lasts till February 15. Should the 
King fail to summon the Chambers, they meet of their own 
initiative on the usual date. The King may, when necessity 
arises, convoke the Assemblies in extraordinary session. 

(6) The King can prorogue the sessions of the Chambers once 
in the course of each session, for a period not exceeding 
a month. He has also the right of dissolving one or more 
of the two Chambers, or both simultaneously. The decree of 
dissolution must contain the date of the new elections ; and 
that date must be within two months of the dissolution. 

(7) The King, through his Ministers of State, has the right 
of initiating legislation. (8) All laws passed by the two 
Chambers must be sanctioned by the King. (9) The King 
has the right to conclude treaties of commerce and of naviga- 
tion with the neighbouring States, but these must receive 
the approval of the Chambers. (10) No act of the King can 
take effect until it is countersigned by a Minister of State, 
who thereby assumes the entire responsibility. (11) The 
person of the King is sacred and inviolable. 

Legislative Chambers 

The nation is represented in the government by two 
Chambers — the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. 

The following statement indicates the system of election 
hitherto in force. As will be seen below, reforms are in hand, 
but it does not appear that they have been brought into 

Chamber of Deputies. — All male citizens over twenty-five 
years of age who pay taxes, however small, are electors. The 
only exceptions are domestic servants, and those who have 
been convicted of criminal offences. The electors are divided 
into three electoral colleges. The first college includes all 
who are in possession of landed property bringing in £48 or 
upwards per annum. In 1905 there were 15,973 electors 


inscribed in this college. The second college includes all who 
have gone through the primary course of education, and all 
who have their domicile in an urban community and pay 
direct annual taxes of at least 16s. The number of electors 
in this college in 1905 was 37,742. All other electors vote in 
the third college. Those who own rural land bringing in 
£12 of annual income, or who pay £40 in rent, vote directly. 
So also do the village priests and schoolmasters. All the 
others vote indirectly, every fifty indirect electors choosing 
a delegate who votes along with the direct electors of the 

Over two-fifths of the 183 deputies who constitute the 
Chamber were chosen by the first college, almost two -fifths by 
the second college, and only about one-fifth by the third 
college. This shows very clearly the extremely undemocratic 
character of the Government hitherto. The power was almost 
entirely in the hands of the King, the politicians, and the 
State officials. 

Among the various reforms taken in hand in 1917-18, 
however, electoral reform was one of the first in importance. 
A bill to amend the constitution was carried in June 1917, 
according to which Article 57 now declares that ' the Chamber 
of Deputies is composed of deputies elected by Roumanian 
citizens who are of age, by universal, equal, direct, and com- 
pulsory suffrage, by means of secret ballot, on the basis of 
proportional representation ', and it was provided that a new 
electoral law should determine the composition of the Chamber. 

Each deputy receives 16s. for each day of actual attendance, 
besides free railway passes. 

Senate. — Under 'the regime hitherto existing, the electors 
who nominate the Senate are divided into two colleges. 
The first college consists of those citizens having landed 
property yielding annually at least £80 ; present and former 
higher State officials, and army officers with the grade of 
general or colonel ; those who have represented the nation 
during two parliaments ; present and former plenipotentiary 
ministers ; those who possess licentiate or doctorate diplomas 


and have exercised a profession for six years ; and members 
of the Roumanian Academy. In 1905 the number of electors 
inscribed in this college was 10,659. The second college 
includes those whose annual income from landed property is 
from £32 to £80 ; all who possess a licentiate or doctorate 
diploma ; all magistrates ; all engineers, architects, and 
physicians who have diplomas ; teachers in all urban and 
secondary State schools. The number of electors in this 
college in 1905 was 13,912. Each of the two universities also 
sends a representative to the Senate ; and the Orthodox 
State Church is represented by the two metropolitan and the 
six diocesan bishops. The heir to the throne, on attaining 
the age of 18, becomes a member ex officio. 

The number of members in the Senate is 120. Of the 110 
elected senators, 60 are chosen by the first college, and 50 by 
the second college. 

These arrangements, like those for the other Chamber out- 
lined above, were made by revision of the Constitution in 
1884. They were designed (in the case of the Senate chiefly 
by enlargement of the first college) to diminish the powers 
possessed by the boiers (the rich landed proprietors) under 
the older scheme of election, and to increase the power of the 
political and official classes. 

The revision of the Constitution already referred to provides 
(Article 67) that the Senate is composed of elected senators, 
and of senators by right (ex officio), that the electoral law 
shall determine the composition of the Senate, and that the 
principles of the electoral law referring to the constitution 
of the Senate, as of that of the Chamber of Deputies, are to be 
considered as constitutional dispositions. The amendment 
of the Constitution, as regards the Senate, is avowedly vague 
in expression, but it does exclude the system of electoral 
bodies constituted by a property qualification. 

Prerogatives of the two Chambers. — (1) Both Chambers have 
the right to modify and to amend all laws proposed on 
the initiative of the executive power. (2) Both Chambers 
have the right of formally questioning Ministers of State in 


regard to their administrative acts. They have also the 
right to appoint commissions of inquiry in regard to govern- 
ment matters. (3) Both Chambers have the right of inde- 
pendently initiating legislative proposals, when these pro- 
posals are supported by at least fifteen Deputies or Senators. 
(4) All laws require the assent of both Chambers, as well as 
of the King. This also applies to all treaties with foreign 
powers (the King was, however, even more influential in 
foreign than in home politics). (5) Change can be made in 
the Constitution only if favoured by a two-thirds majority 
vote in each of the Chambers, and sanctioned by the King 
(6) The Budget must be presented annually, prior to its 
enforcement, to the Chamber of Deputies. It must be voted 
by the Chamber of Deputies, and sanctioned by the King. 
(The expenditures of the various State departments are 
supervised by a specially appointed High Court of Accounts, 
which ranks as a branch of the Judiciary.) 

Council of Ministers 

The King confides the general direction of political and 
administrative affairs to a Council of Ministers, nominated 
by him for this purpose. There are eight Ministers, including 
a Minister of Foreign Affairs and a Minister of War. The 
President of the Council can be a Minister without a portfolio. 
The members of the royal family are not eligible as Ministers. 

The Ministers are responsible to the King and to the 
Chambers for their acts. Their responsibility is individual 
when it concerns the action of some one Ministerial depart- 
ment ; it is collective when it refers to decisions taken by 
the Council as a whole. As already stated, no act of the 
King can take effect until it is countersigned by a Minister, 
who thereby assumes the entire responsibility. Each of the 
two Chambers and the King have the right to impeach 
a Minister of State, who must then defend himself before the 
Court of Cassation. 

Ministers have a deliberative voice in either of the Chambers 
only when they are members. One Minister, at least, must 


assist in the deliberations of each Chamber. The Chambers 
can request the presence of Ministers. 

Practical Working of the Government 
As already stated, political power has been almost entirely 
in the hands of the King, th? politicians, and the State 
officials. The King has been much the most influential of 
all the political forces. The changes made in the Constitution 
in 1884 were designed to diminish the power of the rich landed 
proprietors ; but in so doing they indirectly contributed to 
the increase of the royal power. The Ministry in office when 
elections were held never failed to secure the return of the 
great proportion of its nominees. This was made possible by 
the imperfect representation and by the political ignorance 
of the masses, and was effected through the powers of patron- 
age and of intimidation at the disposal of the centralized 
administration. Accordingly the King, by nominating a 
Ministry of the required complexion, and by dissolving the 
Chambers, could always rely on obtaining a majority in 
support of his policy. The Government was absolute master 
of the elections, and the King was master of the Government. 
Most writers upon Roumania agree that in view of the 
personal character of its political life, and also of the extent 
to which its politics are dominated by international issues, 
some such method of government has been more or less 
necessary. They also agree that in the hands of King Carol 
and of King Ferdinand it was reasonably successful. But 
the task which it imposes on the sovereign, namely, that 
of correctly interpreting the significance of political and 
popular movements, is much too delicate for any one man, 
however able and however disinterested. Past successes 
have been due, in considerable part, to good fortune as well 
as to good guidance. Education of the masses, coupled with 
serious tackling of the land question, increase in the repre- 
sentation of the non-official classes, and abolition of the 
' spoils ' system are the lines of reform upon which its most 
enlightened statesmen were working, even before the war 


brought these questions to a head. These reforms will 
strengthen the more disinterested elements in the community, 
and will place them in a position to share with the King the 
responsibilities of government. Meantime we must bear in 
mind that Roumania is still in its political infancy ; it is less 
than a century since it was rescued from Turkish misrule ; 
and it is only sixty years since it began, under far from 
favourable conditions, its education in the art of parliamentary 
government. It is for this reason that it has seemed pertinent 
to deal in some detail in preceding paragraphs with the system 
of government before the present reform movement had 
gathered strength, for it is not to be supposed that the 
influence of the older regime will immediately disappear. 

Local Government 

For purposes of local government the country is divided 
into Departments. There are 17 Departments in Wallachia, 
13 in Moldavia, and 4 in the Dobruja (see Table on pp. 60, 61). 
The administration of each Department is entrusted to 
a Prefect, nominated by the King, on the recommendation 
of the Minister of the Interior. The Prefect represents the 
Central Government and supervises the enforcement of the 
laws. He also has a great variety of special functions, 
drawing up the list of jurymen, inspecting the rural Com- 
munes, assisting in the recruiting of the army, &c. In these 
duties he is aided by Sub-Prefects, each of whom is responsible 
for maintaining order in a certain number of rural Communes. 

A General Council is attached to each Prefecture. It is 
elected by the inhabitants of the Department, divided into 
three electoral colleges, as in the election of Deputies. The 
Council assembles in ordinary session annually, on October 15, 
for twenty days. It can also, when necessity arises, be con- 
voked in extraordinary session. 

The General Council authorizes the budget of the Depart- 
ment, creates, maintains, and improves the Departmental 


organizations, and supervises the public works executed in 
the Department, such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, &c. 

In the intervals between its sessions the General Council 
is represented by three of its members, who form a Depart- 
mental Commission. They deliberate with the Prefect on the 
measures to be taken for the good administration of the 
Department. On certain questions the Prefect is obliged to 
consult them. 

In July 1918 a scheme of reform of local government was 
brought in under which Wallachia and Moldavia were to bo 
divided into 12 instead of 30 departments (judetse). 


Each Department is divided into Communes. In 1912 
there were 2,664 Communes, 72 urban and 2,592 rural. In 
the rural Communes there were 8,487 villages and 1,048 
hamlets. The appellations ' urban ' and ' rural ' do not 
depend on the number of inhabitants, but are given by law. 
Each Roumanian subject must be on the register of some 
Commune : vagrancy is not permitted. 

The Commune is governed by a Municipal Council, elected 
by the inhabitants of the Commune, for a period of four years. 
In the urban Communes the electors are divided into two 
colleges, and in the rural Communes form a single college. 
The number of Municipal Councillors varies, according to the 
importance of the Communes, from 7 to 31. 

In those villages and hamlets which are not the seats of 
Municipal Councils, there exists a Village Council which 
occupies itself with the immediate needs of the village, and 
sends a delegate to the Municipal Council of the larger area. 

Each Commune is supposed to enjoy autonomy. The 
Central Government must not interfere with it save in the 
interests of public order and the general good. This latter 
proviso is, however, so indefinite as to afford justification 
for almost any degree of control. And as a matter of fact, 
the Council would appear to have only such independence 
as the Central Government may from time to time consider 


harmless. All the more important decisions of the Municipal 
Councils have, according to the degree of their importance, 
to be approved either by the General Council of the Depart- 
ment, or by the Minister of the Interior, or by the King, 
or by the Legislature. The political importance of the Com- 
munes probably consists in the opportunities they afford for 
the formation of independent centres of opinion. 

The duties of the Municipal Council are very varied. They 
create and maintain the schools, the hospitals, a fire-brigade, 
watch over the public health, take measures to improve the 
breeding of farm-stock and to guard against animal diseases, 

In each Commune there is a Mayor, who is elected by the 
Municipal Council, and confirmed in his office by the King. 
The Mayor thus represents both the Commune and the 
Central Government. In the former capacity he presides 
over the Municipal Council and executes its decisions ; in 
the latter capacity he is responsible for the maintenance of 
public order and for the enforcement of the laws of the 

The Mayor has two assistants. A Secretary of the Commune 
has charge of the Mayor's office and signs all Communal 
documents. He is nominated by the Mayor. Secondly, 
there is a Treasurer who manages the finances. In the 
smaller Communes the Treasurer is usually the State teacher. 

The reform scheme of July 1918 referred to above provides 
for the division of departments into districts (plashi), each 
under a pretor. It also foreshadows the independent municipal 
government of the more important towns. Bucharest, with 
neighbouring communes, was to be divided into five arron- 
dissements, each with a mayor nominated by the minister of 
the interior, and there were to be also a chief mayor and 
a central town hall. 

The Dobruja and Bessarabia 
The organization of the Dobruja is somewhat different from 
that of the rest of the country. This has been necessitated 


by the fact that a considerable proportion of the population 
is of alien stock. 

Each of the four Departments into which the Dobruja is 
divided is under the direction of a Prefect, nominated by the 
Central Government. He has the same powers as the other 
Prefects, and is assisted by a General Council. Part of this 
Council is elected by the chief citizens of the Department 
and by the Councillors of its various Communes. The other 
part is nominated directly by the Minister of the Interior 
from a list of twelve names presented by the Prefect. The 
decisions of the Councils are valid only when they receive 
the approval of the Prefect. Also the Councils are not 
represented, in the intervals between their sessions, by 
Departmental Commissions : the Prefect is then the sole 
executive authority. 

The Communes within each Department are administered 
by Municipal Councils. These are elected and constituted 
in the same manner as in the rest of the country, save in the 
following respects : (1) In the urban Communes of Tulcea 
and of Constanta the Central Government reserves to itself 
the right to nominate directly three of the nine Municipal 
Councillors. In the other urban Communes the Prefect has 
the right to nominate two of the Municipal Councillors. 
(2) In the villages in which there are a number of different 
religious bodies the Prefect determines, prior to the municipal 
election, how many Councillors each body may have. (3) The 
Mayor, instead of being elected by the Councillors, is in the 
rural Communes nominated directly by the Prefect, and in 
the urban Communes by the Minister of the Interior. 

When Bessarabia was reunited in 1918 to Roumania, the 
autonomous Council of Bessarabia remained in power, 
Roumania, at the outset, merely appointing a General Com- 


The Constitution of 1866 made the Judiciary independent 
of the Executive ; and this has been further ensured by a law 
passed in 1890 which gives permanence of tenure to all Judges 


of the Appeal Courts and to all Presidents of the Tribunals 
of First Instance. They may not even be transferred, or 
advanced in rank, without their consent. 

The main provisions of Roumanian law are drawn from the 
codes of western countries, especially the Code Napoleon. 

There are five kinds of Courts : the Communal Courts, the 
District Courts, the Departmental Courts, the Appeal Courts, 
and the High Court of Justice and of Cassation. 

The Communal Courts are presided over by the local Mayor, 
aided by two jurymen, elected by the inhabitants of the 
Commune. The Secretary of the Commune acts as Clerk. 
These Courts endeavour to reconcile the parties to the dispute ; 
and proceed to judgement only when mutual agreement 
proves impossible of attainment. They also act as Police 
Courts for small contraventions of the rural police law. 

There are 131 District Courts, distributed among the 
various Departments proportionately to the population and 
to the extent of the territory covered. Each is composed of 
a Judge and a Deputy- Judge. The jurisdiction of these 
Courts extends in civil matters to all disputes regarding 
personal and property rights of a value from £2 to £8 without 
appeal, and up to £60 with right of appeal. In criminal 
matters they deal with infractions of police regulations, with 
minor thefts, &c. 

A Departmental Tribunal is located in the capital of every 
Department, and consists of several sections, according to 
the number of the population. In each section there are 
a President, two Judges, and a Deputy- Judge. These 
Tribunals deal with all actions which do not come within the 
competence of the lower Courts, and which are not expressly 
reserved by law for jury-trial or for Special Courts. 

In the capital of each Department a Court of Assizes also 
sits four times each year, to pass judgement upon the more 
serious criminal offences, upon press prosecutions, and upon 
political crimes. It is composed of a President, who is 
a Judge of a Court of Appeal, of two Judges taken from the 
Tribunal of the Department, and of a jury of twelve citizens. 


There are four Courts of Appeal, located at Bucharest, 
Jassy, Galatz, and Craiova. 

The High Court of Justice and of Cassation, consisting of 
a President and seven Councillors, keeps watch upon the 
sentences pronounced in all the other Courts, and secures 
that they are in accordance with the laws and with the rules 
of legal procedure. When a sentence is abrogated by the 
Court of Cassation, the case is referred for retrial to the 
Court of the same degree which is nearest in location to that 
in which it was originally decided. The High Court also has 
jurisdiction, and passes direct judgement, in all proceedings 
against Ministers of State. 

Military and religious tribunals rank as Special Courts. 
The Courts Martial are located at the head- quarters of each 
army corps. Five members are nominated for each Court 
by the commander of the corps, one of them acting as Presi- 
dent. In addition there is a Government official, acting as 
representative of the King. The Permanent Council of 
Revision holds its sittings at Bucharest. It is composed 
in the same manner as the Courts Martial, but of officers 
higher in rank, nominated directly by the Minister of War. 
The Council does not enter into questions of evidence ; it is 
concerned to decide only the formal legality of the decisions 
which come before it for revision. Certain of its decisions 
have to be submitted to the Court of Cassation. 

Diocesan Consistories, each composed of three secular 
priests, deal with all questions of ecclesiastical discipline. 
There are also Consistories of Appeal, composed in the same 

The special Consular Courts were abolished when the 
independence of the kingdom was declared in 1884. 

It is said that notwithstanding the permanence of tenure 
which has been secured by the law of 1890 for Judges of the 
Appeal Courts and Presidents of Tribunals of First Instance, 
the Courts are not always equitably administered. 


Dacia — Slavs and Magyars — Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia — 
Turkish suzerainty — Phanariot regime — Russian influence — Union of 
Wallachia and Moldavia — Principality of Roumania — Roumanian 
independence — Balkan War and Treaty of Bucharest, 1913 — Roumania 
and the War, 1914-18. 


The area occupied by the Roumanian people to-day was, in 
the earliest times of which we have record, inhabited by 
a people who had already attained a comparatively high 
standard of civilization. The Greeks called them the Getae, 
and they reappear as the Daci in the time of Julius Caesar. 
At this period they were organized into a kingdom under 
a strong ruler, Burebista. 

For the greater part of the first century a. d. the province 
of Moesia, established in a. d. 6, remained exposed to incur- 
sions of the Daci. Punitive expeditions were undertaken 
against them, but the submission made by their rulers was 
merely nominal. 

In a. d. 101 the Emperor Trajan took Dacian affairs in 
hand. The reigning king, Decebalus, was forced to sue for 
terms. As the conditions of the treaty were not being carried 
out, Trajan determined to reduce the country once for all. 
The remains of the bridge which was then thrown across the 
Danube are still to be seen near Turnu Severin, and a road, 
still known as Calea lui Traian, was constructed along the 
line of the river Olt and through the Red Tower pass. After 
a strenuous campaign in a. d. 106 Trajan captured the Dacian 
capital Sarmizegetusa (near Hatszeg in Transylvania) . Dece- 
balus preferred death by his own sword to falling into the 
hands of the enemy. 



The Roman province of Dacia was now constituted. Legion- 
ary camps were stationed at strategic points and linked up 
by military roads. Colonists were brought from different 
parts of the Empire, and the adoption of Latin (to which are 
traceable about two-fifths of the words in the Roumanian 
language) is one among many proofs that romanization was 

The province seems to have included the eastern Banat, 
the mountain country of Transylvania, and Oltenia. The 
plains of Muntenia and Moldavia apparently remained out- 
side the Empire, but were no doubt gradually romanized. 

The peaceful development of the country was first broken 
by the Marcomannic War in the reign of Marcus Aurelius 
(a.d. 161-80). Under the Emperor Commodus (a.d. 180-92) 
conflicts took place with the Dacians outside the province, 
with the result that 12,000 who had hitherto been free were 
transported within the Roman boundaries. 

In the reign of Caracalla (211-17) began the series of wars 
culminating in the invasions of the Goths. The pressure of 
these became so strong about the middle of the third century 
that the Emperor Aurelian in the year a. d. 271 determined 
to withdraw the Roman frontier to the Danube. The autho- 
rities at Rome had for years been seeking a more defensible 
line. It seems probable that no attempt was made, at any 
rate on a large scale, to deport the romanized inhabitants 
of the province. 

Slavs and Magyars 

There is no connected history of the country for the cen- 
turies following the Roman occupation. Gothic influence is 
said to be traceable in some place-names, and the famous 
gold treasure found in 1837 near Mt. Istrita is believed to 
have been buried there by Athanaric, king of the Visigoths. 
Later invaders, such as the Huns, Gepidae, and Avars, seem 
to have left no permanent mark. The descendants of the 
romanized population had probably not yet spread far beyond 
the Carpathian foot-hills and would therefore be little affected 


by the successive waves of nomads which rolled along the 

In the meantime Slavonic tribes had occupied most of the 
area between the Balkans and the Carpathians (see Handbook 
of Bulgaria, pp. 52-4). Fusion between the Slav and the 
Daco-Roman population seems to have been easy, but little 
can be affirmed with confidence regarding the history of the 
country for several hundred years. 

About the beginning of the tenth century the Magyars 
entered the lands which they now occupy, to become before 
long overlords of most of the adjoining territory. The earliest 
historical documents of Transylvania show the country as 
organized in a kind of feudal system which may have been 
developed much earlier. At the head of the scale were the 
Voivozi or Bani. Under them in rank, though later their 
equals, were the Knezi. Then came the Boieri (Knights), 
who might owe their nobility either to birth or to their tenure 
of some administrative office. All these nobles were free 
from direct taxation, but had to provide military service. 

Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia 
In course of time the development in the power of the 
feudal lords led them to make attempts to secure complete 
independence. Thus it is believed that as the result of the 
increasing importance of one of the great families, the Basarab, 
the principality of Wallachia, or Muntenia, to give it its 
Roumanian name, was founded by a Basarab prince after 
a victory over the Hungarians during the first quarter of the 
fourteenth century. Some years later another member of the 
same family, Bogdan, Voivod of Maramures in Transylvania, 
crossed the mountains with his followers and founded the 
principality of Moldavia. 

The history of the two States which were destined to be 
united in the nineteenth century into the kingdom of Rou- 
mania is for the next five hundred years largely a chronicle 
of civil and foreign wars. The succession to the office of 
Voivod (Prince) depended partly on heredity, partly on the 

H 2 


choice of the nobility, acclaimed by a general assembly of 
the people. Naturally there were often rival claimants to 
the throne. Enemies from without had also to be met, for 
the Ottoman Turks were now rising to the height of their 
power in Europe. 

Amid all the turmoil of wars the names of one or two rulers 
stand out pre-eminently. One of these is Mircea eel Mare 
(Mircea the Great), Voivod of Wallachia, whose reign was 
spent in almost incessant and generally successful conflict 
with the Turks. Documents of the period call him ' Master 
and Prince of Hungary, of the Duchies of Fagaras and Ami as 
beyond the mountains, Duke of the Banat of Severin and 
Master of both banks of the Danube as far as the Great Sea ; 
Lord of the fortress of Durostor (i. e. Silistra) '. 

Before his death in 1418 Mircea made terms with his chief 
enemies. His treaty with the Sultan Mahomet I remained 
the basis of Ottoman suzerainty over Roumania till 1877. 

In Moldavia the greatest figure is that of Stefan eel Mare 
(Stephen the Great), who ascended the throne in 1457. He 
came to be recognized as far as Persia as the chief opponent 
of the Moslem in Europe, and his chivalrous spirit led him to 
make several attempts to unite the Christian nations against 
the common enemy. The rival ambitions of neighbouri no- 
princes, however, frustrated all such endeavours. 

During Stephen's reign Moldavia included the Bukovina ; 
the boundary to the east was the Dniester, while the river 
Milcov separated it from Wallachia on the west. The 
capital was at Jassy, to which Stephen transferred the seat 
of government from Suceava. 

Before his death in 1504 the Moldavian prince advised his 
son Bogdan to submit to the Turks. As the suggestion was 
duly carried out, both Wallachia and Moldavia paid tribute 
to Constantinople. 

Turkish Suzerainty 

The sixteenth century saw a gradual strengthening of the 
Turkish hold on the principalities. The ever-recurring feuds 


of rival pretenders to the throne were of great service to the 
Ottoman power. Candidates for the office of Hospodar 
(a Slavonic title = Lord), as the position of prince had come to 
be called from about the time of Mircea the Great, found it 
increasingly necessary to resort to bribery at Constantinople. 
Besides, the weakening of the two States by internal conflicts 
enabled the Porte to increase the amount of the tribute. 

The natural wealth of the country, however, was such 
that even the heavy burdens it had to bear could not im- 
poverish it beyond recovery. It is interesting also to note 
that in 1588 Petru Schiopul (Peter the Lame), Hospodar of 
Moldavia, concluded a commercial treaty with Queen Eliza- 
beth of England. This agreement gave permission to all 
English subjects to settle in Moldavia for purposes of trade 
on payment of a customs-rate of only 3 per cent. 

Under Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) it seemed for 
a time that a new era had been inaugurated for the princi- 
palities. Michael came to the throne of Wallachia in 1593. 
In 1599 he was able to establish himself as ruler of Transyl- 
vania. He then turned his attention to Moldavia, expelled 
the reigning prince Jeremia Movila, and seized the throne, 
thus for the first time establishing a united Roumanian 

It would be wrong, however, to regard Michael's actions as 
inspired by any statesmanlike belief in the unity of the States 
occupied by men of Roumanian blood. Personal ambition 
was the chief motive, and his work was not destined to be 
permanent. He was defeated in battle in the year 1600 and 
assassinated in 1601. 

On Michael's death the former condition of affairs was 
restored. The possession of power still remained the prize 
of the highest bidder at Constantinople, and for the next 
hundred years only two princes were able to retain their 
thrones for any length of time. These were Matei (Matthew) 
Basarab in Wallachia (1633-54), and in Moldavia Vasile Lupul 
(Basil the Wolf, 1634-53). Both owed their positions to 
a national revolt against Greek influence which had been 


gradually filtering into the country, chiefly through the 
religious houses. Both, however, realized that Greek sup- 
port at Constantinople was essential to their remaining in 
power, and their reigns therefore show an increase in Greek 
influence. This was specially marked in Moldavia, as Basil 
himself was thoroughly Greek by education, and may not 
even have been Roumanian by birth. 

The reigns of both these princes were distinguished by 
reforms which were carried further by Serban Cantacuzino, 
a member of a Greek family which had migrated from Con- 
stantinople to Moldavia early in the sixteenth century. This 
prince became Hospodar of Wallachia in 1679. The country 
had been suffering not merely from the ravages of war but 
also from famine and pestilence. In Moldavia many of the 
common people sold themselves and their children as slaves 
to the Tatars in order to procure food. Serban Cantacuzino 
introduced the maize crop, which yields to-day the staple food 
of the Roumanian peasant. He also reorganized the military 
system and finances, established a regular system of weights 
and measures, founded schools and set up printing-presses. 
The reign of this enlightened ruler was brought to an untimely 
end by poison in 1688. 

In 1698, during the reign of Serban Cantacuzino's successor, 
Constantin Brancovanu, the capital of Wallachia was trans- 
ferred from Targoviste to Bucharest in order to be the more 
easily controlled by the Turkish Government. The growing 
power of Russia under Peter the Great was probably causing 
the Turks some anxiety, and in order to counteract Russian 
influence in the principalities a new system of election to the 
throne was instituted. In 1709 the reigning prince of Mol- 
davia, Michael Racovita, was deposed for intriguing with 
Russia, and the dragoman Nicholas, son of Alexander Mavro- 
gordato, was sent to administer its affairs. 

Phanaeiot Regime 

This was the beginning of what is known as the Phanariot 
regime, which before very long was extended to Wallachia as 


well. For more than a hundred years the thrones of the two 
principalities were to be occupied mainly by Greeks from the 
Phanar quarter in Constantinople. The hospodar was now 
appointed directly by the Porte, without reference to the 
nobility or people. It was to the pecuniary interest of the 
Turkish authorities to have as many changes of rulers as 
possible, for no prince was elected without a liberal dis- 
tribution of bribes. Since at certain periods, however, the 
choice of election was limited to one or two families whom 
the Turks could trust, the loss of baksheesh implied in the 
prolonged tenure of office by one individual had to be over- 
come. This was done by making the rulers of the two princi- 
palities change places from time to time. And as Wallachia 
was the better prize, its prince for the time being was always 
as ready to spend money in order to maintain his position as 
his colleague in Moldavia was willing to use similar means of 
securing his own transference to the neighbouring State. 

No private fortune was equal to the continual demands 
made on the ruler. Resort was inevitably had to taxation, 
the chief burden of which fell upon the peasantry. The tax- 
gatherers were mostly Greeks, whose intolerable exactions 
forced many of the inhabitants to emigrate to Russia, Austria, 
Serbia, and Bulgaria. Much of the country went out of culti- 
vation, while a parvenu class of nobility sprang up which 
owed its position simply to the wealth wrung from the toil 
of the people. 

The interchange of rulers under the Phanariot regime, how- 
ever, implied a certain similarity in the administration of 
the two States. It also helped to make it generally recognized 
that they were destined one day to be united. 

Russian Influence 

The defenceless state of the country during this period gave 
neighbouring powers frequent opportunities of interference. 
In 1769 Russia assumed a protectorate over the principalities, 
a position confirmed by the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji in 
1774. The articles of the treaty which affected the two States 

120 HISTORY i 

conceded the abolition of the gifts hitherto payable to Turkey 
in addition to the ordinary tribute, the free exercise of the 
Christian religion, and a general amnesty for all Roumanians 
whose actions had compromised them with the Porte. In 
1775 Austria, helped not a little by dishonest diplomacy, was 
able to annex the Bukovina from Moldavia. 

In 1802 the treaty of 1774 was modified in some points, and 
it was stipulated that the princes of Wallachia and Moldavia 
should hold office for at least seven years. Further, they 
were not to be deposed without the consent of Russia. This 
agreement was broken by Turkey in 1806 when Constantin 
Ipsilanti and Alexandra Morusi, both friends of Russia, were 
deposed in furtherance of Napoleon's schemes in eastern 

In spite of this check, however, Russia gained ground 
steadily during the next twenty years at the expense of the 
nominal suzerain. In 1822 the Porte was obliged to yield to 
the demand of the boiers for native princes. The Phanariot 
regime thus finally came to an end with the election of loan 
►Sturdza to the throne of Moldavia and Grigore Ghica to that 
of Wallachia. In 1829 the Treaty of Adrianople between Russia 
and Turkey gave the former an indemnity of £5,000,000 
for the war which had just ended, with the right to occupy 
Moldavia and Wallachia till the money had been paid in full. 
A separate treaty stipulated that the hospodars should hence- 
forth be elected for life, that the principalities should be 
allowed to raise a militia for the maintenance of public order, 
and that Turkey should retain no fortified place on the left 
bank of the Danube. By this treaty clearly the real suzerainty 
over the two States was transferred to Russia, all that was 
left to Turkey being the right to collect an annual tribute, and 
to invest the rulers in their office. 

The commander-in-chief of the Russian army of occupation 
was Count Kiselev, whose energy and capacity were of immense 
service to the country in the years which followed. He dealt 
successfully with outbreaks of plague, cholera, and famine. 
His chief work, however, was the drafting of the regulations 


known as the Organic Law, which the Porte ratified. This 
code did not attempt to introduce sweeping reforms, but 
simply by regulating the various branches of administration 
to give the country some opportunity for development. It 
also limited the power of the princes by setting up an assembly 
of thirty-nine boiers under the presidency of the Metropolitan. 
That it did not do enough for the peasantry was due, not to 
Kiselev and Russian influence, but to the stubborn opposition 
of the boiers. 

This opposition was the chief problem with which the rulers 
of the principalities had to deal. The old rivalry for the office 
of hospodar, if less likely now to result in civil war, made the 
disappointed candidates determined to obstruct every legis- 
lative measure of the reigning prince. Almost equally serious 
as a bar to the work of government was the attitude of the 
younger generation of politicians. Most of these had been 
educated abroad, mainly in Paris. All were inspired with 
French ideas of liberty which their rather unbalanced enthu- 
siasm prompted them to apply to their own country. Most 
of them had been out of touch with the conditions of their 
native land for several years, and were not easily persuaded 
that the political formulae current in western Europe were 
hardly yet applicable to Wallachia and Moldavia. Naturally, 
too, nearly all of the younger men saw in Russia, the supporter 
of the regime then in existence, a despot resolved to prevent 
the spread of liberal ideas. 

The two States could hardly fail to be influenced by the 
movements of 1848. An attempt at revolution in Moldavia 
was promptly suppressed. Many of the boiers were relegated 
to their estates. The younger revolutionaries were sent into 
exile, and a Russian army occupied the country. 

In Wallachia a rising met with greater success. The reigning 
prince, Gheorghe Bibescu, was obliged to abdicate, and order 
was not finally restored till a Turkish army crossed the 
Danube and encamped outside Bucharest. 


Union of Wallachia and Moldavia 

The next few years were devoted to peaceful organization. 
During the past generation much had been done for education, 
largely through the enthusiasm of individuals. A spirit of 
nationalism, fostered by a similar spirit among the Rou- 
manians of Transylvania, was springing up. A more general 
interest began to be taken in the possibility of a union between 
the two States. 

A great step in the direction of union had been taken in 
1847 when the customs-dues between Wallachia and Moldavia 
were abolished. During the years of reorganization which 
succeeded 1848 the movement gained strength. A proposal 
for union was definitely brought forward in 1856 at the Treaty 
of Paris which brought the Crimean War to a close. A Euro- 
pean commission was appointed to order the affairs of the 
principalities. In 1857 the meetings of rej)resentatives at 
Jassy and Bucharest voted in favour of union. The united 
principality was to be called Romania and its ruler chosen 
from one of the European ruling families, in order to obviate 
local jealousies. 

Though the European convention at Paris in 1858 refused 
its consent to the Roumanian proposals, the representatives 
of the principalities at Jassy and Bucharest decided to elect 
Colonel Cuza, who had been one of the young boiers sent into 
exile in 1848. 

Principality of Roumania 

The union of Wallachia and Moldavia into the principality 
of Roumania was thus accomplished. After a fresh conference 
in Paris had considered the question, Prince Cuza's position 
was definitely recognized by the European Powers and Turkey 
in 1861. In 1862 a single assembly met at Bucharest and 
a single ministry was formed. 

Cuza, however, was a native prince, and the old opposition 
of the other families continued. Even the great ability of 
the Premier, the Moldavian Cogalniceanu, could not surmount 
the obstacles put in his way. One important measure only 


was passed, the secularizing of the revenues of the monasteries, 
which had begun to be a menace to the civil power. By a law 
of December 1863 the superiors were expelled and most of 
the monasteries converted into hospitals or prisons. Over 
£1,000,000 was offered as compensation, but refused, and 
the money finally went into the Treasury. 

In 1864 Cuza, finding all his measures blocked by the 
Assembly, had it dissolved and appealed to a plebiscite, which 
supported him by an overwhelming majority. An Agrarian 
Law was then passed, for which Prince Cuza is still remem- 
bered by the Roumanian peasant. In 1864 an educational 
measure was carried which gave an opportunity for university 
education to the very poorest in the state. 

Cuza's neglect of the Constitution resulted in a coalition 
against him of the Conservatives and advanced Liberals. 
A secret society was formed and a paper founded called 
La Revue du Danube. One of the leading members of the 
society, M. loan Bratianu, set himself in Paris to gain 
French support by representing Cuza as the tool of Russia. 
In> the meantime the Roumanian prince was regarded at 
Petrograd as the tool of France. The coalition eventually 
secured the support of the army, and in February 1866 Cuza 
was forced to abdicate. Philip, Count of Flanders, father of 
the present King of Belgium, was proclaimed prince, but 
refused the office, which was then offered to Prince Karl of 
the elder branch of the House of Hohenzollern (Sig- 

Prince Carol (as he was to be called) accepted, on the 
advice of Bismarck, with the tacit consent of King William 
of Prussia and with the complete approval of Napoleon III. 
Austria and Prussia were at this moment on the brink of war, 
so the new ruler travelled in disguise down the Danube to 
meet with a brilliant reception at Turnu Severin. 

The year 1866 marks the beginning of a new era for 
Roumaiiia. On July 11, 1867, a new Constitution was drawn 
up providing for an Upper and a Lower House of Repre- 
sentatives and giving the prince an absolute veto on legis- 


latiom In October Prince Carol received his firman of office 
from his suzerain at Constantinople. 

At this time Roumania had no railways and few good 
roads. The natural wealth of the country therefore could 
not be exploited. Prince Carol was determined that the means 
of communication should be supplied, and a concession for 
the construction of the first Roumanian railway, from Bucharest 
to Giurgiu, was granted in 1867. 

In 1869 the army was reorganized under German instructors, 
a rural police was formed, and an important railway concession 
granted to a Prussian firm. In the same year the prince 
married Elizabeth of Wied, an ideal consort by reason of her 
devotion to the welfare of her adopted people and the literary 
powers by which she was to make their aspirations known to 

Prince Carol had to suffer a period of extreme unpopularity 
during the Franco-Prussian War. The Latin sympathies of 
his people were altogether on the side of the French. Further, 
at the end of 1870 the Prussian firm which had received the 
railway concession of 1869 refused to pay the coupons of t he- 
bonds due on the 1st of January. The prince offered to 
abdicate, but the crisis passed. Feeling against Germany 
again reached a serious pitch when, through Bismarck's 
influence, the Prussian Government announced its intention 
of holding Roumania responsible for payment of the interest 
on the bonds. The Prussian demands were finally accepted, 
but left considerable bitterness behind. 

Germany had, however, no really serious competitor in the 
economic field. Great Britain, as yet remained largely in- 
different, and France after the war with Prussia was not in 
a .position to challenge German interests in eastern Europe. 
A rapprochement with Austria, however, took place, partly 
as a natural result of the friction with Prussia. 

On the outbreak of war between Russia and Turkey in 
1877 the Roumanian Government, in view of the refusal of 
the Porte to grant any concessions, signed a secret treaty 
which permitted Russian troops to advance through Roumanian 


territory. When affairs began to go badly for the Russians 
at Plevna, Roumania entered the war, and its reorganized 
army turned the scale in Russia's favour. 

Roumanian Independence 

Though Roumania' s services were generally acknowledged 
at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, they failed to secure the re- 
compense hoped for by many Roumanian patriots. Roumanian 
independence was recognized, subject however to two condi- 
tions. The first of these was the retrocession to Russia of 
the southern portion of Bessarabia in exchange for Serpent 
Island, which lies in the Black Sea off the Danube delta, 
and for the part of the Dobruja north of a line running from 
the Danube below Silistra to the Black Sea a little south of 
Mangalia. The second condition was the abolition of the 
clause in the Roumanian Constitution which stipulated that 
' only Christians can become citizens of Roumania '. Its 
object was the granting of political rights to the large Jewish 

Apart from the delimitation of the frontier there was the 
question of the navigation of the Danube, which caused 
considerable friction with Austria-Hungary. After the main 
questions had been arranged the independence of Roumania 
was formally recognized by the European Powers. On 
May 22, 1881, Prince Carol was invested with the insignia 
of his new title. His crown was made of metal from guns 
captured at Plevna, thus symbolizing Roumania's release 
from Turkish suzerainty. 

The dominating figure in Roumanian politics during these 
years was the Premier. M. loan Bratianu, who had formed his 
first cabinet in 1876. 

In 1883 Roumania joined the Triple Alliance. The con- 
vention was, however, kept secret and was not ratified by 

In 1884 alterations were made in the mode of election to 
the Houses of Parliament and in the number of members, 
trial by jury for press offences was instituted, and the civil 


list which had been settled in 1866 was increased by the 
assignment of domains to the Crown. (For the Crown lands 
see p. 147.) 

In the meantime dissatisfaction with the Government was 
increasing. Bratianu's administration was partly opportunist, 
partly dictatorial, and had estranged most of the influential 
men in the country. By 1885 his position was definitely that 
of the leader of a bureaucraticToligarchy which disputed politi- 
cal supremacy with the old boier oligarchy of birth. The 
united opposition of several of the other political parties at 
length brought about the resignation of the Bratianu Govern- 
ment in 1888. 

Perhaps the most important influence at work in Roumania 
from this period onward was that of German and Austrian 
finance. German traders were supported by their banks, 
which enabled them to give long credits to the Roumanian 
buyer. English, French, and Italian firms, not possessing a 
similar advantage, in most cases required payment for goods 
within a period of from three to six months. Nor must it be 
forgotten that most of the retail trade in Roumania is in the 
hands of Jews, many of them emigrants from the Central 
Empires, whose native language is German (see p. 92). 

By 1889 Germany had already the largest percentage of 
Roumania's total imports, a proportion which rose from 
29 per cent, in that year to 40-33 per cent, in 1913. After 
Germany came Austria-Hungary, whose share, after 1891, 
averaged about 25 per cent. 

Profiting also by the distaste of the Roumanian for com- 
mercial life (see p. 80), German firms took in hand the 
exploitation of many of the country's industries. Thus the 
manuf act ure of beer, paper, cloth, and cotton, the refining 
of sugar, and the exploitation of the forests came largely under 
German management. In the late nineties a contest between 
German firms and the American Standard Oil Company ended 
in favour of the former, and from that period till the outbreak 
of war German control of the petroleum industry developed 
steadily. In 1914 the proportion of German capital invested 


in Roumanian oil was said to be 37 per cent, of the total. 
Apart from this there were numerous Roumanian oil companies 
largely financed in Germany. 

The expansion of Roumanian trade resulted, in 1907, in 
the establishment of a Ministry of Industry and Commerce. 

The year 1910 was marked by political developments. 
M. loan C. Bratianu, son of the great politician of the last 
generation, assumed the leadership of the Liberal party in 
succession to M. Dimitrie Sturdza. About the same time the 
brilliant politician M. Take Ionescu formed a new ' Conserva- 
tive Democratic ' party. 

Balkan War and Treaty of Bucharest, 1913 

In 1912 the war between Italy and Turkey, the events in 
the Balkans, and the closing of the Dardanelles caused an 
acute financial crisis which, with the new situation produced 
by the formation of the Balkan League, probably helped to 
bring about Roumanian intervention in the Balkan War of 
1913. (For the Balkan League see Handbook of Turkey, p. 41, 
and Handbook of Bulgaria, p. 66-7.) 

Roumania's object in entering the second Balkan War was 
officially stated to be twofold : (1) to secure a strategic 
frontier against Bulgaria, and (2) to ensure that the situation 
in the Balkans should not be decided without reference to 
her interests. The immediate result of her intervention was 
the bringing of the war to a close, Bulgaria announcing that 
no opposition would be offered to the Roumanian army. 

The Treaty of Bucharest dealt almost exclusively with 
territorial adjustments. The new frontier established between 
Roumania and Bulgaria was practically that which Roumania 
had asked for in 1878 when she had to cede part of Bessarabia 
to Russia (see p. 125), but a territorial adjustment which 
would have provoked little opposition from the Bulgars in 
1878 was differently regarded in 1913. Bulgaria in the mean- 
time had risen to the position of an independent state. Also 
the clause stipulating that the fortifications of Rustchuk and 
Shumla should be dismantled was resented. Much more 


serious than the resentment of Bulgaria, however, was that 
of Germany. For though there was an interchange of con- 
gratulatory telegrams between the Kaiser and King Carol, it 
was recognized on both sides that the Treaty of Bucharest 
was a heavy blow to German ambitions in the Balkans. It 
had seriously impaired the solidarity of the Triple Alliance, 
which Italy's war with Turkey had already affected adversely 
in the preceding year. 

Attempts were made during the next few months to secure 
concessions from the Hungarian Government with respect 
to the Roumanian population in Transylvania. The vague 
promises made by Count Tisza were, however, regarded as 
insufficient, and only served to bring about a rapprochement 
between Roumania and Russia. 


In January 1914 a Liberal Government was formed under 
M. I. C. Bratianu. When the European War broke out the 
King summoned the Cabinet, the leaders of the Opposition, 
ex- Prime Ministers, and ex-Presidents of the Senate. Among 
those who were present at this meeting, pro-German sym- 
pathies were represented chiefly by MM. Carp, Maiorescu, 
and Roseti, and in a lesser degree by M. Marghiloman, while 
M. I. Lahovary and M. N. Filipescu stood for friendship with 
Russia and France. M. Take Ionescu's attitude was deter- 
mined by his passionate desire for the realization of Roumanian 

Before this council King Carol laid a proposal for Roumania's 
intervention on the side of the Central Powers. To this course 
he was urged partly by personal sympathy, partly on account 
of the secret convention of 1883, and partly also because he 
believed that Germany and her allies were certain to win the 
war. It was a bitter disappointment to the King when he 
found himself supported only by M. Carp. The Council 
decided on a policy of neutrality, and when the King appealed 
to the opinion of the army the officers, by a large majority, 
also gave their verdict against the royal proposal. The shock 

ROUMANIA AND THE WAR, 1914-18 129 

of this failure may have hastened King Carol's death, which 
took place on October 11, 1914. The speech of his successor, 
King Ferdinand, when Parliament opened at the end of 
November, made it clear that the policy of the Government 
would be determined by Roumanian ideals and not by dynastic 
considerations. The direction in which these ideals would 
lead the country was not at first obvious : as competitive 
factors there were on the one side the close political and 
economic relations of Roumania with the Central Powers ; 
on the other, her traditions and history as a Latin state. 
In October 1914 an understanding was arrived at with Russia 
by which Transylvania was promised to Roumania in return 
for neutrality on her part. As the Russians pressed into 
Galicia and Italian intervention appeared imminent, Rou- 
manian opinion hardened against the Central Powers and in 
favour of an advance across the Carpathians, but the difficulty 
of reaching an agreement with Russia over territorial ques- 
tions, the failure to establish a passage through the Dardanelles 
and thus to open a route for the supply of munitions, and the 
Russian retreat from the Dunajec, were among the causes 
which delayed the participation of Roumania in the war. 
Surrounded by German, Austrian, v and Bulgarian armies, she 
could not intervene on behalf of Serbia when that country 
was overrun. 

During the early months of 1915, however, a split occurred 
in the Conservative party on the subject of intervention, and 
Marghiloman and Filipescu became leaders of the groups 
favouring the Central and the Entente Powers respectively. 
Later the parties of Filipescu and Take Ionescu were fused, 
thus strengthening the interventionist side. Finally, on 
August 27, 1916, the King announced at a Crown Council 
that he had decided on immediate war with Austria-Hungary. 
Next day Germany declared war on Roumania, and on 
September 1 Bulgaria followed suit. 

The Roumanian front fell into three well-marked divisions : 
(1) the mountainous Transylvanian front from the meeting- 
point of Austria, Hungary, and Roumania to Orsova, near 


the meeting-point of Serbia, Hungary, and Roumania ; 
(2) the Danube front, from Orsova for 270 miles to a point 
10 miles west of Tutrakan ; (3) the front from the Danube 
to the Black Sea, separating the Roumanian province of the 
Dobruja from Bulgaria for a distance of about 100 miles. 
The indirect means of defence along the Danube sufficed to 
make it certain that for purposes of active warfare there were 
only two theatres — Transylvania and the Dobruja. The 
advantage in railway communications in both places were 
on the side of the enemy, but strategical and sentimental 
reasons decided the prosecution of an offensive in Transyl- 
vania, and three of the four Roumanian armies were sent to 
invade the country from the south, east, and north, with the 
middle course of the River Maros as a common objective. This 
would have formed an almost impregnable and a strategically 
dominant position, but the Roumanian armies were insuffi- 
cient to keep in contact over the great length of the Tran- 
sylvanian frontier, and the advance had only just begun 
when they were further weakened by a withdrawal of valuable 
forces and of General Averescu (in command of the second 
army) to re-establish the seriously threatened position in the 
Dobruja. By the end of September 1916, which marks the 
high tide of the Roumanian advance, the fourth army, in the 
north, had got within some 15 miles of Szasz-Regen, had 
passed Parajd, the eastern terminus of the railway in the 
Little Kokel valley, and had advanced within a short distance 
of Schassburg in the Great Kokel valley. The second army 
was meanwhile approaching Schassburg from the south and 
advancing to the west beyond Fogaras. None ot the first 
army, to the south, had made any considerable progress, 
or had yet been reached by the forces operating from the east 
when the enemy counter-attack came down on them. 

On September 1, the day war was declared, enemy troops 
began to cross the frontier in the Dobruja. On September 4 
Dobrich, an important road and railway centre, was taken, 
the weak Roumanian forces being unable to resist the Bul- 
garians, who also took several places on the coast. This 

ROUMANIA AND THE WAR, 1914-18 131 

move in the eastern Dobruja was, however, only preliminary. 
By September 6 the left wing of the Bulgarian army had 
advanced on and taken Tutrakan ; Silistra was evacuated, 
and the enemy pressed on along the Danube. On September 
16 a pitched battle between the main forces developed along 
the line Rashova-Copadinu-Tuzla, the Bulgarians having the 
Cernavoda bridge and railway as their objective. General 
Averescu, with three divisions, was withdrawn from the 
Transylvania front, only to be sent back a month later when 
in turn the position in Transylvania had become grave. 
The Bulgarians were routed, but took up strong defensive 
positions fifteen miles in the rear, circumscribing the Rou- 
manian capacity for concentration in the Dobruja by their 
occupation of important points of communication such as 
Silistra and Tutrakan. 

The German counter-offensive in Transylvania had the 
bulk of the Roumanian army in full retreat by the early part 
of October 1916, and by October 10 the frontier had been 
reached along the whole front, but the withdrawal was 
covered by gallant rearguard actions ; during its last stages 
the enemy was not even in touch, and the movement was 
carried out without demoralization. About the middle of the 
month a French military mission under General Berthelot 
arrived to advise the Roumanian General Staff. The enemy 
offensive now opened its second stage in the Carpathian 
passes. He had reached the Red Tower pass towards the 
end of September, and his attack south of Kronstadt attained 
its full development by October 15. Concurrently Mackensen 
took the Danube crossings in the Dobruja at Cernavoda and 
Harsova. By a Russian offensive he was driven back some 
distance, but retained the central belt of the Dobruja and the 
Cernavoda-Constanta railway, whilst Falkenhayn advanced 
from 5 to 15 miles south of Kronstadt during the first half of 
November 1916. By November 18, after more than a month's 
fighting in the Wallachian passes, the Germans forced a way 
into Roumania and reached Craiova on November 21. 

With the breakdown of the Roumanian defences along the 

i 2 


frontier ridge began the third and shortest stage of the 
German offensive, the conquest of Wallachia up to Bucharest, 
which was occupied on December 6, 1916. The fourth stage, 
in which the evacuation of Wallachia and of the Dobruja 
by the Roumanians was completed and the battle front with- 
drawn to the Sereth line, followed, and the enemy advance 
was brought to a standstill about the middle of January 1917, 
on a line running close to the frontier of Moldavia from the 
north down to the Gyimes Pass, and then from about Agas 
in the Trotus valley to Vadeni, south of Galatz, leaving Ocna 
to the Roumanians and Focsani to the Germans. 

At the beginning of July 1917 the reorganized Roumanian 
army was ready to take the field again, but any important 
action on the Sereth was abandoned owing to the Russian 
situation in Galicia, which forced the Roumanians to send 
troops north to guard the menaced frontier. From August 6 
to 15 the Germans endeavoured to force the Roumanians and 
Russians back from the Sereth, with little success in spite of 
the defection of many Russian troops. A further violent but 
unsuccessful attack along the Focsani- Ad jud railway was the 
last important operation undertaken by the Germans on the 
Sereth, and was Mackensen's first serious set-back in the 
Balkans. After this only minor engagements took place, 
the Germans having shifted their troops to the north, and 
the Roumanians being unable to undertake another offensive 
alone when there was no further hope of help from Russia. 
The Germans next attacked in the Carpathians on August 10, 
threatening the important Targu-Ocna railway. The Rou- 
manian troops were withdrawn to the line Campanile- 
Manastirea-Voloscani, and the enemy offensive was brought 
to a standstill by August 20, after which only local although 
persistent operations were undertaken. From the second 
half of September the efforts of the Germans were vainly 
directed to demoralizing the Roumanian troops as they had 
the Russians. 

During December 1917 practically all the Russian troops 
in Roumania were withdrawn, and in January 1918 the 

ROUMANIA AND THE WAR, 1914-18 133 

Roumanian army facing the invader was further depleted by 
the military and political necessity of sending forces to 
Bessarabia (see below) ; the Bolshevist Government of Russia 
was hostile, and Roumania was cut off from her allies. The 
Germans, taking advantage of this situation, required the 
Roumanian Government to decide, at four days' notice, 
whether it would treat for peace with the Central Powers . 
The majority of the Roumanian generals stated that further 
resistance for any considerable period was impossible ; 
MM. Bratianu,and Take Ionescu refused to subscribe to peace, 
and resigned, and General Averescu formed a government 
without them. On March 5, 1918, a preliminary declaration 
was signed under which Roumania ceded the Dobruja as far 
as the Danube, accepted in principle the frontier rectifications 
demanded by Austria-Hungary, and undertook to demobilize 
the major part of her army (sharing the control of this process 
with the Higher Command of Mackensen's army group), to 
support the transport through Moldavia and Bessarabia of 
Austro-German troops to Odessa, and to dismiss officers of 
Powers at war with the Central Powers, who were still in 
Roumanian service. 

Averescu now resigned, and a new administration was 
formed by M. Marghiloman, who was friendly to the Central 
Powers and was supported by them. On March 26 the 
principal political, territorial, and military articles of the 
peace treaty — the ' peace ' of Bucharest — were initialled, and 
it was signed on May 7. It dealt first in detail with the 
demobilization of the Roumanian forces and the establish- 
ment of German military control. In regard to this cession 
of territory, Roumania ceded to Bulgaria (subject to frontier 
rectifications) that part of the Dobruja which she had received 
under the treaty of Bucharest in 1913. The remainder of the 
Dobruja up to the Danube, including the port of Constanta, 
was ceded to a condominium of the Allied Powers, who 
assured to Roumania a trade route to the Black Sea via 
Constanta. A district of some 2,000 square miles, containing 
170 villages and over 130,000 inhabitants (purely Roumanian), 
was annexed to Hungary ; Austria received about 920 square 


miles south of Czernowitz, and the total cession of territory 
by Roumania amounted to more than 10,000 square miles, 
with a population exceeding 800,000. The army of occupa- 
tion reserved the right to requisition cereals, fodder, wool, 
meat, timber, oil, &c, with nominal regard for the needs 
of the country. A new Danube Navigation Act was to be 
concluded, as stated elsewhere (Chapter VIII), and reference 
will be found in other pages to the legal and political supple- 
mentary treaty (which included provisions thinly disguising 
the payment of an indemnity by Roumania) and to the 
Petroleum Agreement (Chapter VII) by which Germany 
attempted to secure control of the Roumanian oil-fields. 
It is unnecessary now to detail further arrangements con- 
nected with the peace, but the following summary may be 
quoted : ' The Central Powers refrained from exacting a cash 
indemnity ; they imposed it in kind, in the shape of the 
writing off of their requisitions in Roumania to the value 
of some £50,000,000. The Roumanian State deposits which 
early in the war had been conveyed to Moscow for credit 
purposes were subsequently transferred to the account of the 
Central Powers. The fiscal domination of Roumania was 
completed by stipulations compelling her to give most- 
favoured-nation treatment to Germany and Austria without 
regard to any arrangements which they might make among 
themselves. On petroleum no export dues were to be levied. 
Germans, moreover, were to be at liberty to buy up Rouman- 
ian land at discretion. Roumania was tied down to her fixed 
tariff rates, while Germany reserved complete freedom as 
regards a whole series of tariff questions. Germany secured 
control of the Roumanian railways and a shipbuilding yard 
on the Danube. Under the pretence of supplying the 
Roumanian railways with rolling-stock, Germany secured 
a monopoly of such supplies, and a permanent right to 
supervise the railways. Railway rates were settled in German 
favour. A special agreement was concluded for the regulation 
of postal and telegraph traffic between Germany and Rou- 
mania, the provision of a direct telephone service, and a 
German monopoly until 1950 for laying cables on the Rou- 

ROUMANIA AND THE WAR, 1914-18 135 

manian coast.' It is perhaps desirable to carry the survey 
of these arrangements thus far, in order to show not only 
what the Central Powers proposed to do, but what remained 
to Roumania to be undone. 

It has already been mentioned that in January 1918 
Roumania had dispatched forces to Bessarabia ; this was done 
in response to appeals from the Council of that country, 
which was threatened with an immediate prospect of anarchy 
under Bolshevist influence, while there was a great bulk of 
Roumanian stores and supplies there. A Roumanian expedi- 
tionary force reached Kishinev at the end of the month, and 
subsequently Marghiloman (backed by Germany, who had no 
objection, once her domination over Roumania was established, 
to this territorial extension of her temporary vassal) succeeded, 
in April, 1918, in arranging a treaty of union between Rou- 
mania and Bessarabia, on the terms that the latter should 
retain both local autonomy and full representation in the 
Roumanian Government and Parliament. The official Rou- 
manian attitude of the time was one of satisfaction at the 
return of this territory to Roumania after more than a century, 
and there was some disposition to regard it as an offset 
against the loss of the Dobruja. 

The Roumanian Government at Jassy now took in hand 
a number of reforms to which reference is made elsewhere in 
this volume. Marghiloman, while laying down that the King 
could not constitutionally be made responsible for the war, 
and denying the existence of any machinations against the 
dynasty on the part of the Central Powers, moved for the 
impeachment of Bratianu, Take Ionescu, and other supporters 
of the Entente. Suddenly, in November, 1918, the whole 
fabric of the German domination in Roumania collapsed ; 
on the 9th Roumania again entered the war ; on the 11th an 
ultimatum to Mackensen gave him 24 hours to withdraw his 
troops. The Bucharest treaty was annulled ; Marghiloman 
resigned. A new ministry was formed under General Coanda, 
the army was rapidly restored to a war footing, and the vast 
task of restoring the ravaged country could at last be under- 
taken in earnest. 



Agriculture — Live-stock — Land tenure — Forestry — Minerals — Manufac 
tures — Imports and Exports — Shipping — Finance — Money. 


Roumania is pre-eminently an agricultural country. Its 
total area after the Peace of Bucharest in 1913 was 34,232,960 
acres, of which 2,018,250 acres were taken up by lakes and 
rivers. Of the agricultural domain in 1915, 12,656,000 acres 
were under cereals, 515,000 acres under pulse, vegetables, 
and various industrial plants, 378,000 under vineyards and 
orchards, and 1,451,000 under grazing and forage plants. 
Of the remainder, nearly 7,000,000 acres are still forested. 

The chief crops are wheat and maize. Barley, oats, and rye 
occupy a subordinate position. The following table shows the 
area under each of these crops and the total amount produced 
in the years 1914 and 1915 (the production is given in quarters 
of 480 lb. except in the case of oats, which is given in quarters 
of 3041b.). 

Area (acres) 

Production (quarters) 


















1 2,800,000 




The decrease in wheat production in 1914 was due to the 
low rainfall and to the mobilization of the Roumanian army 
in the Second Balkan War in 1913. 

No complete information is available as to the effects of 
the war on agriculture. The Germans forced cultivation 


in the occupied territory, and claimed early in 1917 to have 
got half the available land sown. The autumn sowing in 
1917 was claimed to cover 3,270,341 acres, of which 3,040,250 
acres were sown with wheat, and most of the remainder with 
rye and rape. But the destruction of farms, vineyards and 
the like was great, and the loss of live-stock (see below), 
especially the oxen which the peasantry used extensively in 
agriculture, was stated in November 1918 to make the 
prospects grave. There was also compulsory cultivation in 
Moldavia, but cereals had to be imported from Bessarabia by 
the State in 1918. The geographical account of agriculture 
which follows takes account only of normal conditions before 
the war. 

Of the main agricultural products maize predominates in 
the hill region, and wheat in the plains. Maize demands 
less attention than wheat, and is therefore a more convenient 
culture for the small proprietors, each of whom has his live- 
stock, his garden, and his field. It supplies him with the 
staple of his diet, mamaliga, and can also be used for 
fattening his pigs and poultry. The great bulk of the maize 
grown in Roumania is used for home consumption, while a 
large proportion of the wheat is exported. Though wheat- 
growing yields more remunerative results than maize, it is 
exposed to greater risks. That is an additional reason why 
it is less favoured by the small proprietors and preferred by 
the large landowners. 

Corresponding to this difference in the distribution of the 
cereal crops, there are differences in the kind of life lived by 
the agricultural peasants. Almost all the agriculture of the 
hill country is carried on by peasant proprietors, who in 
addition to agriculture engage in market-gardening, fruit- 
growing, and domestic stock-rearing. Each such farm is more 
or less self-sufficient. Vegetables, and especially haricot 
beans, a very important item of the peasants' diet (the potato 
is comparatively little used), are grown in the gardens. The 
vine and the plum are the most usual fruit-trees. The latter 
yield tuica, the national drink, a crude kind of brandy. 


In the plains, on the other hand, where wheat is the chief 
product, a large proportion of the peasants work for the large 
proprietors, and even when they manage their own farms 
devote nearly all their energy to labour in the fields. They 
seldom have orchards, which in any case the plains do not 
favour ; and stock-raising is almost entirely in the hands of 
a special part of the population, the migratory shepherds, 
described below. 

Agriculture in the Carpathians 

In the Carpathian region, as has been seen, cultivation is 
restricted : maize is the principal food-crop, and hemp, 
grown for fibre, is of some importance. The area under 
wheat is small. In some of the sheltered valleys the vine is 
grown, but to no great extent. 

Agriculture in the Hill Region 

Nearly one-half of the total output of maize in Roumania 
is produced in the region of the hills. The climate is suitable, 
especially as the rainfall is abundant during the earlier part of 
the year when moisture is most necessary. The yield in 
Moldavia is higher than in Wallachia, a result due, in part at 
least, to the dry summer and fairly high temperature in the 
region between the Sereth and the Pruth. Indeed, the 
conditions in this district are so favourable that it produces 
over one-fourth of the total crop of Roumania. 

Wheat ranks next in importance to maize, but covers less 
than two -thirds of the area occupied by the latter crop : 
Moldavia possesses only about 15 per cent, of the wheat-lands 
of the kingdom. On the other hand, the yield per acre in that 
province is higher than elsewhere, averaging 17 bushels per 
acre as against 15 bushels per acre for the whole country. 
In Wallachia the yield per acre is lower and averages about 
14 bushels. Other cereal crops include barley, rye, oats, and 
millet. Barley is grown in Moldavia, but not to any great 
extent elsewhere in the region of the hills, and the same is 
also true of oats. Among industrial plants hemp, sugar-beet, 


the sunflower, and the mulberry may be mentioned. Hemp, 
which is cultivated by the small farmer as much for its seed 
as for its fibre, is grown throughout the whole region, but 
mainly in Moldavia to the west of the Sereth, where about one- 
third of the total crop of the country is produced. Sugar-beet 
also finds its most favourable environment in Moldavia, which 
grows about three-fourths of the Roumanian crop. The sun- 
flower, which is cultivated for the oil contained in its seed, is 
almost entirely confined to the same region. The production 
of silk in Roumania is carried on mainly in the plains of the 
Danube, where over three-fourths of the mulberry-trees are 
found, but a certain amount is obtained from the hill region, 
mainly from Wallachia and the southern districts of Moldavia. 

Before the war the cultivation of the vine had declined 
greatly throughout the whole country, mainly as a result of 
the damage done by phylloxera and mildew. The slopes of 
the river- valleys in the hill region have hitherto afforded the 
most favourable conditions, and over three-fourths of the 
vineyards are found there. Wallachia has one-third of the 
area under productive vines, most of them being grafted on 
American stumps. The region between the Sereth and the 
Pruth ranks next in importance, while the country to the 
west of the Sereth comes third. The plum is grown mainly 
in Wallachia, and large quantities are produced in that 

The hill country contains about one-half of the land laid 
down in permanent pasture and forage plants, the greater part 
of it being in Moldavia, which produces about one-third of the 
lucerne and clover grass grown in the country. Other forage 
plants, including sorghum, maize, and millet, are also grown 
in the hills, but not to the same extent as in the plains. There 
are, in addition, extensive natural grass-lands throughout 
the region, and these provide considerable quantities of hay, 
especially in Moldavia, where the yield per acre is larger than 

The agricultural importance of the Moldavian section of 
the hill region is well marked in the foregoing survey. It is 


due, in the main, to the dissected nature of the land, its fertile 
covering of loess, and abundant sunshine during the summer 

Agriculture in the Plain, <Ssc. 

Agriculture is practically the only pursuit of the plain, and 
wheat covers about one-half of the cultivated area. The 
departments of Doljiu, Romanati, Olt, Teleorman, Vlasca, 
Ialomita, and Braila may be taken, as they are by the 
Roumanian Government, to include the region, and they 
contain about 55 per cent, of the total area under wheat in 
Roumania. Owing to the uncertain nature of the rainfall 
in the plain, however, the crop varies greatly from one 
year to another. In 1912 the yield per acre was 15 bushels 
as against 21 bushels in 1913 and 8 bushels in 1914. The 
uncertainty of the crop is one reason why the cultivation 
of wheat in this region was first taken up by large proprietors 
who were capitalists and were able to balance the failures of 
one year against the successes of the next. Maize ranks 
next in importance to wheat, and about two-fifths of the 
land in Roumania devoted to that crop are in the region 
under consideration. In contrast to wheat, however, the 
yield of which per acre is lower in the plain than in the 
country as a whole, the yield of maize per acre is higher. 
During the three years 1912-14 it averaged 24, 26, and 23 
bushels respectively, as compared with 19, 21, and 19 bushels 
for the whole of Roumania. Maize also, it may be noted, is 
grown to a much larger extent by the small cultivator than 
wheat. In 1914 the large cultivator had 40 per cent, of the 
land under wheat, but only 11 per cent, of that under 

During the early years of the present century great develop- 
ment took place in this region, especially in lands which had 
formerly lain waste, such as the Baragan. Much of this 
development was the work of men who had sufficient capital 
to reclaim large areas, sink wells, and introduce modern 
machinery. Under such conditions they found in wheal a 
profitable crop, and with their more advanced methods of 


farming they were able to obtain between two and three 
bushels per acre more than the small cultivator. In recent 
years before the war, however, there was a relative increase in 
the number of small farms, owing mainly to changes in the 
agrarian laws, the growth of a co-operative movement whose 
object is to take over large estates, and an increase in the 
number of popular banks. Further particulars regarding 
land-tenure will be found in a later section (p. 144). 

The other cereal crops of this area include barley, oats, rye, 
and millet, but the total acreage devoted to them is not much 
more than one-fourth that given to wheat alone. The climatic 
conditions of the region make it well adapted to the growth 
of certain industrial plants. About three-fourths of the mul- 
berry trees in the country are found within its bounds, the 
departments of Ilfov, Doljiu, Romanati, and Teleorman 
having the largest number. About 120,000 kilogrammes of 
silk cocoons were produced in Roumania each year, and of that 
amount the Wallachian plain provided two-thirds, Doljiu 
and Ilfov alone contributing one-third. Tobacco, which is 
almost entirely in the hands of small-holders, is a crop of some 
importance in the departments of Dambovita, Vlasca, Ilfov, 
and Ialomita. The vine is grown, but the area cultivated is 
decreasing here as elsewhere in Roumania. Over one-half of 
the total crop of flax and colza is also obtained from the 

Agriculture is practised to a slight extent in the Danube 
valley. After the spring floods a catch crop is attempted ; 
the seed is sown in the rich alluvial soil, and if harvest comes 
before the next flood good results may be obtained. During 
the winter months, when the water is low, extensive tracts 
covered -with grass provide food for sheep and cattle even 
when snow is on the ground. 

In the Dobruja, especially in Tulcea district south of the 
delta of the Danube, there is a good deal of stock-farming, 
especially with sheep, and fruit, tobacco, and the vine are 
cultivated. The Constanta district appears to be less fertile, 
but the southern territory acquired by Roumania in 1913 is 


more than two-thirds cultivable, and though suffering from 
want of water is largely agricultural, the chief product being 


At the end of 1911 Roumania possessed 824,714 horses, 
2,666,945 oxen and buffaloes, 5,269,493 sheep, 186,515 goats, 
1,021,465 swine, and 4,248 asses and mules. By 1914 there 
were 1,218,563 horses and three million head of cattle. But 
the war brought the live-stock industry into a very serious 
position. In Moldavia at the end of 1916 there were only 
115,632 horses and 706,496 head of cattle ; sheep were simi- 
larly reduced in numbers, and pigs had almost disappeared. 
In the occupied territory in February 1917 there were said 
to be 299,402 horses, 1,049,702 head of cattle, 1,655,110 
sheep, and 371,205 pigs. The following paragraphs will 
describe the normal condition of the live-stock industry 
before the war. 

The small farm of the peasant proprietor, in the hills and on 
the Carpathian slopes, has, on an average, one horse, two 
to three oxen, one or more cows, about six sheep, and several 
pigs. Mules and goats are not very often met with. As 
a rule the communes situated at the foot of the mountains 
own large tracts of pasture above the forest-line. The sheep 
are sent there in the spring ; the cows are pastured in the 
forest-clearings. Possession of a horse is in Roumania some- 
what of a luxury ; oxen are the usual draught- animals. The 
horses of the plains are of rather poor stamina, but when 
taken on to the mountains show remarkable power of endur- 
ance. The sheep are a special breed, variable in size, yielding 
an inferior quality of wool called turcana or bar sand: Their 
milk is pleasant tasting, but is not copious. Large numbers 
of fowls, ducks, geese, and turkeys are reared by the house- 
wife, but only well-to-do peasants can afford to reserve them 
for their own use. Usually they are marketed. 

The cultivated grass-lands in the Wallachian plain cover 
about twice the area of the prairies, the proportion of the 



former being above, and of the latter below, that for the whole 
of Roumania. Both cattle and sheep are raised in large 
numbers, and the region contains 30 per cent, of the cattle and 
(in winter) 35 per cent, of the sheep of the whole country. 
) Migratory Shepherds. — Owing to climatic conditions, flocks 
of sheep can be maintained in Roumania through the summer 
months only by transfer to pasturage on the high mountain 
lands above the forest-line. From the beginning of October 
to the middle of April the migratory shepherds live in villages 
in the plains of the lower Danube or in the Balta. The 
flocks arrive in the mountains about the end of April, the 
shepherds bringing with them their wives and children, to 
gether with the necessary household belongings and a supply 
of maize. The isolated sheep-farms in which they settle 
are primitive. They consist of one or more dwelling-houses 
(stdnd) for the shepherds in charge, a hut (strungd) for milking, 
and a rough sheep-fold (obor). The stand is built of undressed 
tree-trunks, placed one upon the other, between larger tree- 
trunks driven into the soil at the four corners. The wind 
passes freely through the interstices in the walls. The roof 
is the most important part of the house, and is more carefully 
constructed. Sometimes the milking-cabin is attached to the 
stand ; it then forms a kind of vestibule between the dwelling- 
chamber and the cheese-dairy. 

The obor is surrounded by a palisade formed of entire trees, 
laid level and supported by poles. The sheep are enclosed 
within it during the night. 

This type of sheep-farm is more or less peculiar to the 
Roumanian people, and is found throughout the whole Car- 
pathian range as far north as Galicia, and in the Balkan 
peninsula wherever the Kutso Vlachs practise the pastoral 

The farm-buildings generally belong to an external pro- 
prietor (stdpdn), and represent an investment of £4 to £8 — 
quite a large sum for a peasant. The pasturage is most fre- 
quently communal property, but there are some few regions 
that belong to noble families. The baciu, the chief shepherd 



of the stand, is sometimes himself the proprietor ; most often 
he is a peasant who is paid on an average 32s. for the whole 
summer. The shepherds (ciobani), who are under his orders, 
are paid in kind — two sheep for every hundred confided to 
their care. A shepherd can guard 200 to 300. The price of 
a sheep in the spring is about 8s. to 10s. ; a ram is worth 
12s. to 16s. Each farm has from 1,500 to 3,000 sheep, with 
four to twelve shepherds, not counting the baciu. Children 
are employed as shepherds from about twelve years of age. 
The shepherds are assisted by dogs. 

Cattle are very rare. There are seldom more than a dozen 
in a stand. The large herds of cattle are found lower down, 
in the forest region, feeding in the glades and clearings. Each 
farm has also a few pigs. 

A considerable proportion of the sheep on the mountains 
belong to Transylvanian proprietors ; they winter, however, 
like the others, in the Roumanian plains. They are conducted, 
when they arrive in the mountains and before they depart, 
to the frontiers, where they are numbered and marked. A 
large number, too, of the shepherds are Transylvanians. In 
the department of Braila they are called Mocani. They 
preserve the usages peculiar to Transylvania. The migration 
back to the plains begins, as a rule, in the first fortnight' of 


Serfdom was abolished by Cuza's Land Act in 1864. All 
peasant families subject to forced labour under the State, 
monasteries, and private landowners were declared free. 
According to their status as ' double -hoofed ' peasants 
(owning four oxen and a cow), ' one-hoofed ' (owning two 
oxen and a cow), and ' half -hoofed ' (owning one cow), they 
were provided with arable, meadow, and grazing lands, to 
be redeemed in fifteen years by payments to the Tax Com- 
missioners. For private estates alone the reimbursements 
amounted to £4,280,000. In the case of the great landed 
proprietors the expropriation was to be extended only to two- 


thirds of their estates. To enable the peasants to meet their 
engagements, 10 per cent. State scrip (later converted into 
6 per cent, scrip and finally into 4 per cent, scrip) was issued for 
the specified amount, whilst the State renounced both for itself 
and the monasteries all claim to their share in the purchase- 
money. By the same law the small holdings were declared 
inalienable till the year 1895, and in 1884 this period was 
extended to the year 1916. Freeholds were thus created for 
402,903 peasant families, the land divided among them 
amounting to 4,042,540 acres. In addition there existed in 
1864 some 117,000 mosneni (see p. 68), owning among 
themselves an amount of land equal to that newly divided. 

The results of Cuza's legislation were, however, disappoint- 
ing. In addition to unexpected shortcomings in the peasants, 
who were thus suddenly made responsible for the independant 
management of farms, there were serious defects in the new 
arrangements. The lands assigned for division were not 
sufficient in quantity. Of the 500,000 or 550,000 emancipated 
families, 100,000 received no land at all, while a large pro- 
portion of the allotments were too small to support their 
holders. Another defect of the enactment was that the 
indemnity awarded to the great landowners was excessive, 
and beyond what the farmers were able to pay. 

Improved results followed from the agrarian laws of 1868, 
1879, and 1889 (in consequence of a peasant rising in 1888). 
Thanks to these and other similar enactments, by the end of 
1898, 149,442 additional families had purchased 1,864,368 
acres. Altogether, in the period between 1864 and 1898, 
5,906,908 acres were shared among 552,345 peasant families. 
Subsequent to the extensive peasant rising in 1906, there 
was further agrarian legislation creating a service of State 
inspectors to supervise and inspect all agricultural contracts, 
and a land committee to purchase land, for sale at moderate 
rates to small -holders. 

In 1912 the average size of a large farm was 1,251 acres, 
and of a small farm 9-4. The number of farms of medium size 
is, unfortunately, so small as to be almost negligible. In 1915 



the number of large farms was 3,523, and of small farms 
1,182,617, distributed as follows : 

Large farms. Small farm s. 

873 254,323 

270 118,502 

590 354,811 

Plains of the Sereth and Pruth 
Carpathians of Moldavia 
Carpathians of Muntenia 
The Danube plains 
The Dobruja 

1,284 379,555 

500 75,42(5 

Of the total agricultural surface in 1915, viz. 15,024,921 
acres, 26-13 per cent, were large farms and 73-87 per cent, 
were small farms. The proportion of small farms is steadily 
on the increase. 

Taken from the point of view of the forms of land-tenure, 
63-30 per cent, of the cultivated area was worked directly by 
the owners, 26-44 per cent, by tenant-farmers, and 10-26 per 
cent, by those who share in the produce. 

Of the land which is worked in the form of large farms, 
53-87 per cent, was managed directly by the owners, and 
46-13 per cent, was leased to middlemen. Of the land worked 
in small farms, 66-73 per cent, was worked by the owners, 
19-28 per cent, by tenant-farmers, and 13-99 per cent, by 
tenants who shared in the produce. 

There are still large numbers of landless peasants, and many 
of the small proprietors have too little land to live upon. 
Fresh legislation was about to be passed when the war broke 
out. The conditions of labour on the large estates are fre- 
quently most unsatisfactory. Both on those which are 
administered by their owners and on those which are leased 
to Jewish and other middlemen the peasants are very fre- 
quently ground down to a starvation wage. In these respects, 
as already indicated, conditions are much worse in Moldavia 
than in other parts of the country. 

In 1917-18 agrarian reform was one of the first operations 
put in hand after the cessation of hostilities. It was estimated 
that including Crown domains (see below) there are over 
six million acres which should be expropriated. It was 
calculated that no landed properties should be left containing 


more than 1,000-1,250 acres of arable land, and it was pro- 
posed to carry out expropriation on a steeply graduated 
scale, so that in the case of the largest estates 90 or 95 per 
cent, of the whole should be expropriated. All estates of 
250 acres and more should be liable from that point upward. 
Compensation by redeemable bonds at 5 per cent, interest 
was proposed. Pending such far-reaching reform, a tran- 
sitional measure was passed in September 1918, making 
compulsory the farming out to peasants of certain portions 
of large estates, amounting to about 2,500,000 hectares in all. 
On an average, two -fifths of the surface of these estates was 
to be farmed out to village communities (or to individual 
peasants if communities could not be formed), but with 
a graduated scale according to the size of estates. A large 
agrarian bank was to be established to supervise the ' popular ' 
banks (for which see section on Finance, Ipelow). 

The Crown domains have a total superficial area of 326,316 
acres, and consist of twelve estates, some located in the hill 
region and some in the plains. The largest are those of 
Malini 71,133 acres and of Sadova 49,676 acres. The domains 
are admirably administered. Their farms, schools, and 
dwellings exercise great influence as models to the rest of the 
country. Experiments, designed for the improvement of 
farming methods, are constantly being made. Market- 
gardening and home industries are also encouraged, and 
forestry is scientifically developed. 


The total forest area in 1914 was 6,935,120 acres', of which 
2,712,582 were owned by the State and 4,222,539 were 
privately owned. For an account of these forests see pp. 51-3. 

Roumania possesses great reserves of forest wealth in the 
Carpathians. The difficulties of communication, and the fact 
that there is still much standing timber in the hill region, 
have, however, retarded their exploitation. In Wallachia 
the peasants of the valleys go up into the mountains at the 
end of summer and cut down spruce and beech. Where the 



rivers are suitable, as is the case with the Lotru, the logs 
are sometimes floated down to the saw-mills in the villages, 
but frequently they are either drawn down by bullock-teams 
or sawn up into planks on the spot. In the valley of the 
Prahova, where, on account of industrial development lower 
down, timber is greatly in request, the saw-mills are driven 
by steam, but elsewhere water-power is generally resorted to. 
In Moldavia the lumbering industry is somewhat more active, 
especially in the valleys of such rivers as the Trotus and the 
Bistrita. Numerous saw-mills worked by steam, of which the 
most important are situated at Piatra on the Bistrita, are 
engaged in the preparation of timber for export abroad. In 
addition logs are floated down-stream to Galatz, where there 
are also large saw-mills. Before the war the Roumanian 
people began to realize the value of the vast forests which 
they possess, especially in the sandstone ridges of the 
Carpathians, and measures were taken, in those owned by the 
State at least, for their protection and development. With 
the extension of the railway system also it is probable that the 
export trade will increase. Very great damage, however 
was done to the forests during the war, and to meet the 
demands of the Germans during their occupation. 


Though the great bulk of the peasant population on the 
banks of the Danube are agriculturists, a small proportion is 
exclusively engaged in fishing. The fishermen inhabit hamlets 
established on the shore, just above the high-water line, and 
also have temporary dwellings in the Balta-lands — wattle and 
reed huts that are frequently carried away by the floods. The 
houses of the overseers are raised on a stone platform, and 
have outhouses in which the fish are salted. 

Methods of fishing. — Various methods of fishing are prac- 
tised. In the Balta lands the streams connecting with the 
lagoons or lakes are barred by screens of osier hurdles, sup- 
ported on heavy stakes driven into the stream-bed, forming 
a kind of cul-de-sac, to which nets or lines with baited hooks 


can be attached. These are the inchisoari (literally ' prisons '). 
They ensure the capture of about three-quarters of the large 
fish which enter the lagoons in the floods and seek toxreturn 
to the main stream when the water falls. The mesh of the 
wicker-work and nets is large enough to allow of the passage 
of the young fish. In the low waters of autumn, fishing con- 
tinues in a certain number of the lateral lakes. A large net 
is dragged by three or four men over the soft mud that is 
usually covered by not more than 3 ft. of water. But it is in the 
period of the great floods that the largest captures are made. 

The carp is the most important fish. It is fine flavoured 
—much more so than the ordinary pond variety — and attains 
a remarkable size, weighing as much as 45 lb. The sturgeon 
yields a caviare which is coarse-grained and is preferred to 
the small-grained Russian. (See also p. 54.) 

State regulations. — The State owns the waters and constructs 
at its own expense the inchisoari. The fishing concessions are 
put up to auction and are sold to those bidders who offer the 
State the largest percentage of weight of fish captured. The 
State thus obtains 50 to 70 per cent, of the captures in the 
regions in which it constructs the inchisoari, and a much 
smaller proportion for the open waters. The fishery laws, 
which forbid the use of explosives, nets of small mesh, &c, 
are very rigorously enforced. 

The fishermen in the delta and Braila regions are generally 
of Russian extraction. They form groups similar to the 
Russian artels, the members sharing profits with their ' patron ' 
or overseer, but allowing him in addition a share proportionate 
to the capital which he invests and the risks which he runs. 
Less frequently the State engages the workers. Fishermen 
do not have the right to conclude even the smallest sale. They 
must put in at some town where there is a custom-house and 
hand over their capture to the officials, by whom it is auctioned. 


Petroleum. — The mineral wealth of Roumania is mainly 
concentrated in the region of the hills, where deposits of 


petroleum, salt, and coal are all found. Of these petroleum 
is by far the most important. Its existence in the country has 
been long known and it has been used locally for various 
purposes. For forty or fifty years, indeed, small refineries 
have existed at which the oil collected from hand-dug wells 
has been treated. More recently drilling was introduced and 
the output increased, but it is only within the last twenty years 
or so that the industry has risen to a place of first-class im- 
portance. In 1895 the total production amounted to 76,000 
metric tons, while in 1914 it had risen to 1,783,000 metric tons, 
or about 3-5 per cent, of the world's annual output. For this 
rapid development there are several reasons. The greatly 
increased demand for oil throughout the world led to the 
introduction of foreign capital — largely German — into the 
country. Improved methods of mining and refining the 
crude oil, and the development of the means of transport, 
chiefly by the construction of pipe lines, greatly assisted the 
development of the industry. For the exports see under 
Imports and Exports, below. 

The region in which petroleum has, up to the present, been 
located lies between the Ialomita and the Bistrita, but accord- 
ing to eminent authorities all indications point to the field 
being much more extensive. The productive wells are grouped 
in four districts : Prahova, Dambovita, Buzau, and Bacau. 
Of these the first is by far the most important and produced 
during the three years 1912-14 about 88 per cent, of the total 
output of the country. In this area the chief wells are grouped 
round Campina and Calinesti in the valley of the Prahova ; 
Poiana in that of the Varbilau, a tributary of the Teleajenu ; 
Bustenari, a little to the east of Campina ; Bordeni, east of the 
Prahova in the valley of the Mislea, a tributary of the Telea- 
jenu ; Baicoiu and Tintea on the southern margin of the hill 
country east of the Prahova ; and Moreni in the valley of the 
Provita, a tributary of the Prahova. The Bustenari-Calinesti- 
Bordeni wells at one time dominated the production of the 
whole country but later declined in importance, and the 
Campina-Poiana wells also showed a diminished output. The 



increased production of the Moreni wells, on the other hand, 
more than compensated for the decreased output of the others. 
The following table*indicates, for the (year 1913, the total 
production in metric tons of each of the four districts, the 
name (in the first column) and the total production (in the 
fourth column) of the principal producing fields, and the 
names and production (in the middle columns) of the principal 
companies operating in the fields named. Fields and com- 
panies of minor importance are omitted, so that total figures 
exceed the sum of detailed figures in most cases. 






Praliuva District (Total production, 1,719,944 tons) 


Field. Company. of Company. 

Roumanian ConsolidatedOilFac.Ltd. 44,476 

Columbia 274,780 

Romano -Americana 213,667 | 

Astra Romana (Moreni) 171,894 

(Bana) 71,745 

(State lands) 150,247 

^Concordia 12,590 

Petrolul 239,416 

Astra Romana (Vrajitoarea) 17,383 

Filipesti Pitdure Astra Romana 17,596 

, Franck Russell 13,268 ) 

Romano -American;! 42,427 \ 

Concordia 63 , 8 1 6 \ 

Steana Romana 45,359 

Columbia 22,741 ( 

D. & N. Seteleanu Bros. 21,859 

Anglo -Romana 10,968 

Aquila Franco-Romana 10,273 J 

J Orion 68,313 

j Alfa 17,435 

Concordia 39,408 

Ddmbovita District (Total production, 50,371 tons) 
International! Romana 33,863 

„ „ (Perim.Cezianu) 14,853 

Buzdu District (Total production, 99,757 tons) 
Steana Romana 82,351 

Bacdu District (Total production, 28,126 tons) 

Romano-American! 3,578 

Steana Romana 9,092 

„ » 6,645 

Gura Ocni^ei 





of Field. 









The principal refineries for these wells are situated at 
Campina, Ploesti, Baicoiu, and Breaza. There were in all 
100 pipe lines, with a total length of over 1,000 miles, con- 
necting the wells with the refineries. In addition to these 
a great pipe line, connecting the oil-producing region with 
Constanta on the Black Sea and crossing the Danube by the 
great bridge at Cernavoda, was completed before the war, 
and it was anticipated that many refineries would be trans- 
ferred to Constanta. Previously tank-cars, of which there 
were about 4,000 in the country, were used for transporting 
the oil from the refineries to the coast. The destruction of 
the pipe line, and the subsequent diversion of the output by 
the Germans, are referred to below. 

In the Prahova region the oil occurs in the Miocene and 
Pliocene rocks which have been subjected to much folding and 
in places, as at Moreni, to considerable faulting. As a result 
there has been abundant opportunity for the inflow of the 
petroleum to the region where it is found and for its accumula- 
tion in considerable quantities within narrow areas. It 
accordingly follows that the deposits are of varying extent, 
and it appears almost impossible to predict the life of any 
particular well. As regards actual mining the conditions are 
on the whole favourable. The oil is found at no great depth 
and the wells are usually much shallower than in America or 
Russia. In the Moreni and Campina districts they are 
generally between 1,200 and 2,000 ft. in depth ; elsewhere 
they lie between 600 and 1,000 ft. There is accordingly a 
considerable saving of expense both in drilling and in casing 
the well. A further advantage lies in the fact that the rocks 
which have to be penetrated in sinking a well are usually 
easily worked, consisting as they do of soft clays, marly shales, 
sands, and sandstones. The chief difficulties encountered 
arise partly from the high angle of inclination of the 
strata which, as in Galicia, tends to deflect the boring tools, 
and partly from the occurrence of layers of water-bearing 
or oil-bearing quicksands which are liable to cause the 
caving in of the wells. With the development of the industry 


on a large scale hand-dug wells have ceased to be of much 

Apart from the Prahova district, oil is obtained in the valley 
of the Ialomita, near Targoviste in Dambovita, in the valley 
of the Buzau in Buzau, and in the basin of the Trotus at 
Comanesti and Moinesti in Baeau. The total production of 
these districts in the three years 1912-14 amounted to about 
12 per cent, of the Roumanian output, and of that over one- 
half came from Buzau, which alone shows a marked increase 
in its yield. 

The oil-wells of Roumania have played an important part 
in the economic development of the country. Not only did 
they provide direct employment for about 12,000 people but 
they led to»the growth of various metallurgical and chemical 
industries connected with the refineries. The railway system 
has in places been extended to meet their needs, and the ports 
and shipping of the country also benefited. The export of oil, 
mainly to France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Egypt, and 
Belgium, greatly increased the importing power of Roumania. 

Effects of the War on the Petroleum Industry. — It was 
claimed before the war that German capital was interested 
in the Roumanian oil industry to the extent of over £5,000,000, 
about 37 per cent, of the total nominal capital concerned, 
although, as will be seen in the section on exports (below), 
Germany did not receive any such proportion of the exports. 
The principal shareholders in the Steana Romana Company, 
which had a capital of £2,000,000, were the Deutsche Bank 
and the Wiener Bankverein. In October-November 1916, 
when it was seen that the Prahova oil-fields could not be 
saved from falling into enemy hands, extensive destruction 
was carried out under the direction of a British mission, 
wells being fired or blocked, and tanks and refineries destroyed. 
In October the stores of kerosene, petrol, &c, at Constanta 
were destroyed before the town was evacuated. 

But when the Central Powers dictated peace to Roumania 
in May 1918 it was one of their first interests to obtain lasting 
control, as they supposed, of the oil-fields, and a Petroleum 


Agreement was drawn up. Under this measure an Oil-fields 
Leasing Company was established, with exclusive rights of 
utilizing all Roumanian State lands for the purpose of pros- 
pecting for, obtaining, and working up mineral oil, gas, wax, 
asphalt, &c, for a term of 30 years, renewable at the com- 
pany's option for two succeeding similar periods. The 
Roumanian Government was offered not more than a quarter 
of the foundation shares in the company, but German and 
Austrian interests assured their own controlling influence by 
the creation of preference shares of a fifty-fold voting value. 
Another concern, the Mineral Oil Investment Company, was 
confirmed in its rights over properties of other companies 
compulsorily wound up. Negotiations were to be undertaken 
regarding the manner in which Roumania's surplus oil and 
oil products might be placed at the disposal of the Central 
Powers without prejudice to the vital requirements of Rou- 
mania. Failing other arrangements a Monopoly Trading Com- 
pany was to be set up by a financial group designated by the 
German and Austro-Hungarian Governments for this purpose. 

In the light of subsequent events it is unnecessary to 
detail this agreement further, but meanwhile the Germans 
and Austrians had lost no time in endeavouring to re-establish 
the oil industry. An authoritative enemy statement gave 
a calculation, for 1914 before the war, of a daily output of 
4,899 metric tons from the Roumanian oilfields, a figure 
which agrees closely with the annual estimate quoted above ; 
in April 1918 the daily output was stated to be 3,580 tons, 
or nearly three-quarters of the normal output. In September 
1918 it was estimated that production had probably been 
worked up to five -sixths or perhaps eight-ninths of the 
normal. These statements, however, are denied from other 
sources ; one estimate made in November 1918 was that the 
Germans had only achieved a fifth of the normal output 
and that the lack of oil was causing great difficulty in the 
reconstitution of industries and communications, as it was 
largely used as fuel. 

The Germans had immediately taken in hand the diversion 


of the chief line of export. Shortly before the war the 
Roumanian Government, as already stated, had completed 
a line of three pipes side by side from the oil -fields to Con- 
stanta on the Black Sea. These crossed the Danube at 
Cernavoda, being carried on the bridge there, and were 
destroyed with it. The Germans, instead of attempting 
(so far as appears) to restore these pipes, constructed a new 
line from the fields via Bucharest to Giurgiu on the Danube, 
which was made the chief oil -shipping port for cargoes up 
the river to Austria-Hungary and Germany. Some appre- 
hension has been expressed that even with the restoration of 
Roumanian control over the oil-fields, this new export route 
may remain in serious competition with the route to Con- 
stanta and export by the Black Sea, on the ground that the 
former will have become established and the requirements 
of the oil -fields may favour its retention. 

Salt. — Salt ranks next to petroleum in importance among 
the mineral resources of Roumania. The annual production 
was about 113,000 tons, but it might be greatly increased as the 
deposits are both numerous and extensive. The salt, which 
is remarkable for its purity and contains 99 per cent, of 
sodium chloride, occurs in huge masses which have been dis- 
placed from their original position. These masses are found 
both in the older and in the younger Tertiary rocks. In the 
former they are found at Targu Ocna, Zabala, Cozia, Grozesti, 
in the basin of the Zabala and elsewhere ; in the latter they 
belong to a belt several miles in breadth along the Carpathian 
borderland from the Bukovina to Ramnicu Valcea. The most 
important deposits occur at Slanic, Telega, Doftana, Poiana, 
Ocnele Mari, Andreiasi, and elsewhere. 

In 1914 the salt was worked at Targu Ocna, Ocnele Mari, 
and Slanic, the works at Doftana having been abandoned 
since 1901. The mines at Slanic (which were worked by free 
labour in contrast to the others where convict labour was em- 
ployed) were the most productive, producing about 68 per cent, 
of the total output ; from the mines at Ocnele Mari came 
13 per cent., and from those at Targu Ocna 18 per cent. All 


are owned by the State and worked as a Government 
monopoly. Almost two-thirds of the salt sold were consumed 
in the country, the remainder being exported to Bulgaria, 
Serbia, and Russia. 

Goal. — The chief deposits of coal in Roumania are also found 
in the region of the Tertiary hills, but the quality of the coal 
produced is inferior and the total output small. Between the 
Danube and the river Olt lignite occurs and it has also been 
worked until recently in a mine at Valea Copcii, near Turnu 
Severin. More important are the lignitic deposits which crop 
out between the Olt and the Dambovita, a few miles south 
of Campulung. The chief mines in this direction are situated 
at Jidava, Poenari, Jugur, and Berevoesti. At present, how- 
ever, the deposits most extensively worked lie farther to the 
east between the Dambovita and the Ialomita. Here the rocks 
have been but slightly folded and the lignite is found under 
conditions which permit it to be worked with comparative ease. 
The mines are situated at Margineanca, Sotanga, and Aninoasa, 
near Doicesti in the valley of the Ialomita. A little farther 
to the east, coal is worked at Filipesti Padure, but only to 
a slight extent. In the year 1911-12 the total output of coal 
in Roumania amounted to 242,000 tons. Of that the region 
near Campulung produced 78,000 tons, and that between the 
Dambovita and the Ialomita 128,000 tons. 

The lignite obtained in Roumania is not of great value : its 
heating power is low, it does not stand much exposure to the 
air, and it cannot bear the cost of carriage for long distances. 
On the other hand, when mixed with petroleum residues, it 
forms a fuel which is extremely useful for locomotive purposes, 
and more than half the coal mined in the country is consumed 
on the railways. Of the remainder an increasing quantity 
has been used in the manufacture of a poor gas supplied to 
various industrial concerns. 

Coal is known to exist in various formations in the Car- 
pathian region, but it appears to be of little economic value. 
There is some anthracite, but the beds have been much dis- 
turbed by tectonic movements and arc worked only in a small 


mine at Schela in Gorjiu. Coal of Liassic age occurs in 
places, but though of superior quality it is marked by strong 
lamination and has suffered much from erosion so that it does 
not lend itself to exploitation on a large scale. It is probable, 
however, that these beds of coal, which extend from the 
northern slope of the mountains of Bucegi into Transylvania, 
belong to the same formation as that which is so rich at Pecs. 
Some coal exists in the valleys of the Cerna and the Bahna 
in the west of Oltenia. The mine at Bahna was worked by 
the Government for twenty years, but was finally abandoned 
as it had ceased to pay. In Moldavia the principal deposits 
of coal lie in the basin of Comanesti which is drained by the 
Trotus. The coal, which is lignitic in character, is mined at 
Darmanesti upon the left bank of the Trotus and at Galleon 
and Laloaia in the north-west of the basin. 

On the establishment of the German occupation, the Berlin 
Diskonto-Gesellschaft and Bleichroder's Bank acquired coal- 
mines estimated to produce about four-fifths of the total 
output of the country, and preparations were made to work 
these to the fullest possible extent with the view of rendering 
the military and civil establishments in occupation inde- 
pendent of imported coal. 

Other Minerals. — Of other minerals it is unnecessary to say 
much. Pyrites occurs in many places in the Carpathians, 
and sulphur is also abundant ; kaolin is found at Muncelu 
in Gorjiu, and in the Calimanu hills in Suceava ; and crystalline 
limestones are quarried for building purposes in the valley of 
the Rau Vadului. Iron and copper occur at Losova, Atmagea, 
Altan Tepe, Amzalor, Karapcea, Cerapulit, and Ceanurli in 
the Dobruja. 


Until about the beginning of the present century industrial 
development had made little progress in Roumania. Within 
recent years, however, a certain number of industries have 
received State support, and considerable progress has been 
made in various directions. Among the works subsidized 
by the State the most important are petroleum refineries, 


sugar factories, flour-mills, and saw-mills. Among others are 
breweries, paper-mills, metallurgical shops, and woollen fac- 
tories, all of which are on a small scale. The total capital of 
the State-aided industries in 1910 was £11,256,000 ; the raw 
materials worked up were valued at £8,606,000, and the 
products at £14,037,000. In that year the value of petroleum 
products alone was £2,459,000. Foreign interests in Rou- 
manian manufactures are not inconsiderable, and in 1918 an 
enemy report referred to a number of allied firms compulsorily 
liquidated in the occupied territory, including water, gas, 
electricity, metallurgical, and textile companies at Bucharest, 
an electricity company at Ploesti, and others. 

In the towns of the Wallachian plain, more especially 
at Bucharest, and at Galatz and Braila, the chief ports on 
the Danube, there has within recent years been considerable 
industrial development. Textile industries have been estab- 
lished at Bucharest and Braila. For the mills there, as 
elsewhere in Roumania, much of the raw material is im- 
ported ; flax and hemp are not cultivated in sufficient quanti- 
ties to meet the home demand, while raw wool grown in the 
country is exported and spun wool imported from abroad. 
Industries connected with the production of food-stuffs are 
more general. Flour-milling is naturally an important in- 
dustry of the region, and is carried on at Bucharest, Galatz, 
Braila, and elsewhere. Rice-mills have also been established 
at Braila. Turnu Severin has abattoirs where a large amount 
of live stock, especially pigs and sheep, is slaughtered for 
export to Austria. Brewing is becoming an industry of some 
importance in Ilfov, where barley is grown, the hops being im- 
ported from Germany or Austria. Beet sugar is manufactured 
at Branceni in Teleorman. A certain amount of metallurgical 
work is done at Bucharest and Craiova, as well as at Braila and 
Galatz, but as a rule it is of an elementary type and is quite un- 
specialized. The village industry for the manufacture of 
bricks and pottery is widespread, but modern works have been 
established at Bucharest and elsewhere. At Galatz large 
quantities of timber, floated down the Moldavian rivers, arc 


consumed in the saw-mills. There are chemical industries and 
works connected with the manufacture of paints and varnishes 
at Bucharest and Galatz. Braila makes large quantities of 
cement, some of which is exported. 

In the region of the hills industrial establishments are almost 
entirely concerned in working up raw materials, such as timber 
and agricultural produce, for consumption at home or for 
export abroad. Moldavia being almost wholly an agricultural 
country, the industries there are of this type. Flour-milling 
is one of the most important, and gives employment to a con- 
siderable number of people. In Roumania there are two types 
of flour- mills, the village mill and the modern mill. The former 
is chiefly engaged in milling maize and is found everywhere in 
Moldavia, while the latter, which is mainly used for milling 
wheat, is established in the large towns, and notably in Jassy 
and Botosani. The manufacture of beet-sugar is naturally 
a Moldavian industry (as the bulk of the beet is produced there), 
and is carried on at Rapiceni (Botosani), Roman, and Mara- 
sesti (Putna). Alcohol is made from potatoes in the north of 
Moldavia and from maize elsewhere, little wheat or barley 
being employed. The small distilleries of former days have 
been largely displaced by modern establishments, which are 
generally situated in the country districts where labour is cheap 
and the raw material easily obtained. At Marasesti are manu- 
factured chemical fertilizers, for which large quantities of 
phosphates are brought from Africa and America. Among 
other industries of the region may be noted tanning and the 
manufacture of chemicals at Jassy and Bacau, the weaving of 
woollen goods at Jassy and Piatra, brick-making and pottery 
at various places 

In Wallachia many of the industries are similar in character, 
though they have a tendency to settle, not in the hill region 
itself, but in the towns along its southern margin. At Ploesti, 
for example, the manufacture of woollen goods is carried on, 
and there are tanneries both there and at Pitesti. The metal- 
lurgical industry, which was formerly confined to the repair 
of agricultural implements and work of a similar nature, has 


taken on a new importance with the development of the oil- 
wells, and machinery connected therewith is made at Campina, 
Ploesti, and elsewhere. The extraction of sulphuric acid from 
petroleum residues has been started at Campina, and at Valea 
Calugareasca it is made from pyrites imported from Spain, 
Serbia, and Hungary. Cement is made at Comarnic, south 
of Sinaia in the Prahova valley, and at Gura Vaii in the hills 
north of Turnu Severin. In the neighbourhood of these places 
limestone, clay, and sand can be easily obtained. 

Water-power. — The rivers which flow across the region of the 
hills may, in the future, prove a source of considerable power. 
Hydro-electric installations have already been established at 
Sinaia and Campina, in the Prahova valley, and supply light and 
power to the towns and villages of the surrounding districts. 

Crafts.— In the villages the only professional craftsman to 
be met with is the smith, who is almost invariably a Gipsy ; 
in addition to ordinary smithing he undertakes the mending 
of agricultural implements. The peasants build their own 
dwellings, and also make the wooden ^household utensils. 
The women spin and weave in flax, hemp, and wool, and 
make the family clothing. The housewife works the hemp 
and flax from the very seed. When the husband has ploughed 
her piece of land, she sows the seed, harvests it, and then 
passes it through the processes of netting, combing, spinning, 
and so forth. The big loom, which is kept folded away under 
the roof during the spring and summer, is spread out in one of 
the rooms in the winter months. Cotton stuffs from prepared 
yarns are also woven, with varied patterns and elaborate 
stripes. From wool, carpets and blankets are made, as well 
as articles of clothing. The silk industry was once universal 
in Roumania, and still continues in some degree. 

Imports and Exports 

The foreign trade of Roumania, like that of all countries in 
south-eastern Europe, has been seriously disturbed since the 
outbreak of the first Balkan War in 1912. In order to form 
a fair idea of the country's external commerce, one must take 


1911 as the latest year which can be regarded as showing trade 
carried on under normal conditions. Roumania's prosperity 
had for several years previously shown a tendency to increase. 
Roumania is, even to a greater extent than Bulgaria, an 
agricultural country, and a large proportion of its crops is 
sent abroad. 

As the country was to a great extent undeveloped, its 
imports chiefly consisted of the articles needed for equipping 
it with modern plant and implements, especially metal goods 
and machinery, but textile goods are also much in demand. 

Small quantities of coal and coke, coffee, fish, vegetable oils, 
tobacco, and horses, mules, &c, are imported. Various articles 
are allowed to be imported free of duty in order to aid home 

Roumania's exports consist to the extent of more than 
four-fifths of cereals, petroleum, and timber, and the two latter 
are small compared with the first-named. In 1913 the ship- 
ments of grain amounted to £17,936,490 out of a total of 
£26,828,212, and in the same year the exports of petroleum 
were valued at £5,259,233. Wheat and maize are the two 
principal items in the list. In 1911 the maize shipments 
were more than double what they were in the previous year, 
while the wheat exports were reduced appreciably. Peas and 
millet are also grown for export ; the shipment of eggs was 
receiving attention. The fish trade was on a fair scale formerly 
(1901-3), but after some fluctuations became trifling, being 
valued at only £79,000 in 1911, against £121,000 in 1908. 
Roumania's industries are in their infancy. The only 
manufactured article exported in an appreciable quantity is 
refined beet sugar, which was shipped to the value of £81,000 
in 191 1 ; this is the largest amount since 1901, when the export 
was valued at £144,000 ; in most years the amount has been 

Imports and Exports (000's omitted). 





























The largest purchaser of all kinds of produce from Rou- 
mania in 1913 was Germany, which imported to the value of 
£9,512,765. Belgium was also a large purchaser, much larger 
indeed, relatively to her extent and wealth, even than Ger- 
many. In this year Belgium imported from Roumania 
produce and goods to the value of £7,281,116. The share of 
Great Britain in imports was valued at £1,793,613. Her 
exports to Roumania were valued at £2,229,508. 

In view of the attention which has been attracted by the 
Roumanian oil-fields the following particulars for the years 
1909, 1910, 1911 of the quantities and values of the principal 
forms in which petroleum is exported may be of interest : 


| Tons. £ 

Benzine . . ! 108,736 544,000 

Petroleum, refined 2G2,587 788,000 

crude . ; 11,132 

residues : 41,549 









£ ! Tons. 

667,000 | 124,414 

708,000 i 318,434 

id«nnnl 29 > 779 
148,000 | 200822 



The total export in 1914 was 654,024 metric tons, and in 1915 
429,087 tons. * In 1914 Italy took 108,144 tons, Germany 
99,164 tons, the United Kingdom 77,971 tons, and Austria- 
Hungary 84,253 tons. The recent imports of petroleum 
into the United Kingdom from Roumania were valued as 
follows in the Board of Trade statement : 



In 1915 the mercantile marine of Roumania consisted of 
757 vessels of 238,748 tons, of which 133 vessels of 40,949 tons 
were steamers. It will be seen that the average size of the 
vessels is very small in both classes, and the bulk of the 
sea-borne import and export trade is therefore in foreign 


1913. 1914. 

No. Tons. No. Tons. 

Entered . . 32,499 10,253,223 31,727 9,504,366 

Cleared . . . 32,306 10,176,885 31,333 9,299,976 

The following table, giving the figures for 1910, shows the 
Roumanian and foreign tonnage separately : 








. 2,231,836 




. 2,255,441 



The shipping trade of Roumania is classified as river 
(fluviala) and ocean (maritima). The river traffic is much the 
larger, as the two most important ports are situated on the 
Danube, including Galatz, the seat of the European Commis- 
sion of the Danube. The principal Roumanian ports are 
Braila, Galatz, Constanta, all of which are both import and 
export places, though in varying proportions. As regards 
imports, the lead is taken by Braila, Galatz coming second 
and Constanta third ; of the smaller ports the chief are 
Burdujeni and Predeal. The export trade has its principal 
seat at Constanta, whence 1,211,978 tons were shipped in 
1911 ; Braila followed closely with 1,167,698 tons, and Galatz 
was third with 637,299 tons. From Calafat (276,282 tons), 
Giurgiu (273,298 tons), and other smaller places goods were 
also exported. The activity of the custom-houses at Braila, 
Galatz, and Sulina is increased by the coasting trade in cereals, 
which comes from the ports on the Danube and the Pruth in 
vessels of small tonnage, the contents of which are transhipped 
into ocean-going ships. 

The State. maritime service was carried on at a loss in each 
year since 1901, when there was a surplus of £9,475. The 
State had a service of vessels to Sharpness (Gloucestershire) 
and Rotterdam from the Roumanian ports. 

The annexed tables show (1) the sea-bound traffic on the 
Danube at Sulina in 1911-12-13, and (2) the merchant fleet 
on the river in 1914. 

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Names of 



Metric tons 

Shipping Tugs. 









1 Companies. 







first chartered Im 


Ipcrial & Royal 

1 Danube Steam - 

1 ship Co. (Austria- 

Hungary) . 










loyal Hungarian 

River & Sea Na- 

vigation, Ltd. . 










South German 

S.S. Co. . . 










lungarian & In- 

land Navigation, 

Ltd. . . . 










bavarian Lloyd . 










Budapest Screw 

Steamship Co. . 





?ranzen Canal . 






- — 




Authorities . 










Austrian Autho- 











/arious . 










Roumanian na- 

tional fleet . 










loumanian pri- 

vate fleet . 










Total . . . 










The second table is clearly incomplete : it does not appear, 
for instance, to include the shipping of Greek private firms 
on the lower Danube and the delta, which had large interests. 
Recent figures (before the war) credit these firms with 
86 steamers of a total of 40,000 h.p., and 590 barges with 
a total capacity of 548,675 tons. Most of these were the 
large barges known in German as Griechenschlej)'per. It is 
known that a large number of Greek craft were destroyed. 

The three principal Roumanian shipping concerns on the 
Danube are : 

(1) Roumanian River Service (Serviciul Fluvial Roman), 
a State concern whose vessels before the war plied on the 


whole river. It also maintained a regular passenger service, 
with 11 steamers not referred to in the above table. It also 
had 8 tank-ships. 

(2) Dunarea Co., of Braila, founded in 1910, with tugs, 
barges, and floating elevators. 

(3) Roumanian Danube S.S. Co., of Bucharest, founded in 
•1914, and concerned principally with mercantile traffic on the 
lower river. 

The shipping on the Roumanian section of the Danube 
(including sea-bound traffic) averaged 5,602,786 tons (metric) 
annually in 1910-13. The goods principally conveyed, in the 
Sulina channel in 1914, were maize (1,026,000 tons), wheat 
(338,090 tons), barley (240,000 tons), oats (62,000 tons), rye 
(57,000 tons), and flour (25,000 tons). A considerable 
quantity of British and Turkish coal was also shipped up- 
stream. Of goods passing through the Iron Gates, the 
following statement is given : 

Iron Gates ; Upstream Traffic (metric tons) 



Coal. Wheat. Timber. & products 


. 236,500 

. . 192,200 

. 31,100 

51,400 16,100 25,800 
55,800 31,000 28,900 
24,900 187,900 7,500 




Rape seed 
tfc Millet. 
. 14,800 
. 19,500 

Piece-goods. Salt. Oats. 
11,707 16,200 — 
15,700 15,200 13,600 
5,000 9,000 23 



Iron Gates ; Downstream Traffic (metric tons) 


Coal, goods. 

Timber. Cement, goods. Sugar. 



. 78,000 64,900 
. 75,500 60,600 
. 28,400 53,600 

34,500 22,400 13,100 2,800 

16,000 14,300 14,300 11,200 

8,100 18,400 9,800 2,700 


These figures refer to total, not solely Roumanian trade, 
as also do the general figures following, which are of interest 
(1) as illustrating the manner in which the Central Powers 
developed the traffic during their occupation, and giving some 



indication of the capacity of the river as a trade route, and 
(2) as showing, for the year 1916, the seasonal fluctuation of 

Traffic at Iron Gates 

Tonnage (metric) of goods conveyed 

upstream. downstream 

. 208,083 95,078 

. 284,007 190,784 

. 408,487 270,534 

. 402,809 211,220 

. 332,400 139,098 

. (Complete figures wanting) 










32 042 
















1901-5 (average) 
1900-10 (average 

1912 . 

1913 . 

1914 . 

1915 . 

January . 







August . 


October . 



Thus in 1916, 1,691,900 tons of goods were conveyed 
upstream through the Iron Gates, in 3,590 loaded barges, 
and 264,431 tons were conveyed downstream in 920 loaded 
barges. ♦ 

The destruction of shipping by the Roumanians during 
their retreat in 1916 was extensive ; many barges, tugs, 
floating grain elevators, and other vessels were damaged and 
sunk, and river harbours and, in particular, apparatus for 
dealing with the export of grain, were as far as possible 
rendered useless. The Austro- Germans set about salving 
operations on a large scale, and by one account claimed to 
have salved 766 vessels down to December 1917. Turnu 
Severin seems to have been the centre of operations. Here, 
on the wharf, mechanical and carpentering workshops were 
set up, and a slipway with rails, on which vessels might be 
hauled up broadside, was constructed, as well as an ordinary 
slip with sliding ways. 



For some further particulars concerning the river traffic, 
see Chapter VIII, below, and on the river generally, Handbook 
of the River Danube, I.D. 01020. 

More than half the revenue of Roumania is derived from 
public services, indirect taxation (chiefly customs duties), and 
State monopolies. The following was the Budget for 1912-13, 
the last Budget which was not disturbed by the exigencies of 
war. The Budget period ends on March 31 (old style) : — 




fWar . . 2,977,000 
Finance . 8,280,000 
Instruction, &c. 1,929,000 
Interior . 1,897,000 
Public Works 3,833,000 

Direct taxes 
Indirect „ 
Stamps, &c. 
Public services 

Ministry o 

Total . 



. 20,226,000 

The principal item of direct taxation is the land-tax, which 
usually produces nearly half the total of this class of revenue. 
The custom-house receipts and those from the tax on spirits 
form the greater part of the indirect taxes. The chief State 
monopolies are tobacco, matches, playing-cards, explosives, 
and salt for home consumption. 

Since 1912 the Budgets have been swollen by the charges 
for war. The estimates for 1914-15 and 1915-16 amounted 
in both years to £24,009,316 for both revenue and expendi- 
ture, and those for 1916-17 to £25,828,772. The sum needed 
by the Ministry of War in 1915-16 was set down at £3,925,000. 
The budget for 1919 was expected to exceed £40,000,000, 
and a progressive income tax and increases in other direct 
taxation were foreshadowed. 

The public debt of Roumania on September 30, 1915, was 
£73,615,440. In 1906, when the debt was £63,160,000, 
German capitalists held £30,780,000 of it, while France held 


Banks and Credit Institutions 

The principal bank is the National Bank of Roumania. Its 
original capital was £480,000. The balance-sheet for No- 
vember 5 (18), 1916, shows capital and reserves amounting to 
£2,200,213 ; notes in circulation, £30,266,215. The bank 
issues notes of 20 lei, 100 lei, and 1,000 lei (1 leu =1 franc). 

During the German occupation, however, new emissions 
of notes were guaranteed by the Banca Generala Romana, 
a German foundation (see below). During the war Roumanian 
gold reserves were conveyed from Bucharest to Jassy and 
thence to Moscow, and in January 1918 were stated to be 
held by the Petrograd Government at the disposal of the 
Roumanian people, but not the Roumanian oligarchy. It 
was believed that the Bolshevist government did not hold 
the whole reserve, but only gold to the value of 170,000,000 lei. 
The estimated position of the bank in July 1916 and December 
1917 was as follows : 

July 1916. 

December 1917. 

Assets — Gold ingots . 

. 29G 

178 million lei 

,, deposits 

.. 109 

315 „ „ 

„ drafts 

. 81 


8tate credit , . 

. 132 


Treasury drafts . 

. 400 

Liabilities — Notes in circulation 

. 922 


It has been asserted in Roumania that the National Bank 
has hitherto been too much under the control of one party, 
and the same has been said of credit institutions. Proposals 
made during 1918 by the Marghiloman government included 
one to increase the advantage to the State in return for the 
bank's right of issue, to reserve to the State the right of 
direct control, to change the directorate, and to raise the 
capital to 30,000,000 lei (£1,187,500). At the same time 
preliminary arrangements were made for a new internal loan 
at 85, with interest 5 per cent. 

The Caisse des Depots, Consignation et Epargnes is an insti- 
tution originally created to hold voluntary, judicial, and 
administrative deposits. A savings-bank was attached to it 


in 1880, the funds of which are kept and administered separ- 
ately from the other funds under the control of the institution. 
At the end of 1910 there were 218,690 accounts (livrets) open 
for £2,408,000, against £2,431,000 in 1909. 

The Roumanian Government established a mutual guarantee 
institution called the Premiere Societe de Credit Fonder 
Roumain in 1873, to assist landed proprietors. The law 
affecting this society was modified in 1882 and 1903. In 1911 
the amount due to it from the proprietors who had made use 
of facilities for borrowing was £14,952,000, against £14,011,000 
in 1910 and £10,378,000 in 1901. Annuities are payable to 
the society in discharge of long-dated mortgage (up to 60 
years). Thecapital, which was £617,000in 1896, was £1,388,000 
in 1911. 

The Banque Agricole, a smaller institution, with a capital 
of £452,000 on December 31, 1911, had on that date made 
advances on security and on personal credit for £332,000. 

The Caisse Rurale is an institution formed chiefly to assist 
peasants who wish to purchase their holdings. Its capital is 
£400,000, and it had a reserve of £8,000 on December 31, 1911. 
Another institution of the same kind is the Credit Agricole et 

There are also a number of ' popular ' banks, whose united 
capitals on December 31, 1912, were £3,963,000. The popular 
banks had a membership of 563,270 at the end of 1912, of 
whom 512,426 were cultivators, 13,345 were artisans, and 
13,585 functionaries, besides a few other classes of people. 
The success of these banks led to the creation of a number 
of co-operative societies organized by peasants, artisans, and 
other persons. The peasants also began to organize village 
farming syndicates, of which there were 495 in existence in 
1913, against 8 in 1903 and 172 in 1908. 

Private banks. — The Bank of Roumania, Limited, is a British 
joint-stock bank, with its head office in London and a branch 
at Bucharest. It was formed on April 17, 1903, to take over 
the business of the Bank of Roumania, which was incorporated 
under Roumanian law in 1866. The last balance-sheet is for 


December 31, 1915. The accounts were taken at 25 lei to 
the £. The capital is £300,000 ; reserves, £200,360 ; bills pay- 
able, current and other accounts, £1,906,772 ; cash in hand 
and at bankers, £1,006,697 ; and bills receivable, loans, &c, 

The other principal non-Government banks at Bucharest 
are of German or Austro-Hungarian origin, and since the 
entry of Roumania into the war have been sequestrated. 
They are (1) the Banca Generala Romdnd, which was founded 
in 1895 by the Diskonto-Gesellschaft and Bleichroder, Berlin ; 
(2) the Banca de Credit Roman, founded in 1904 by the 
K. K. Austrian Landerbank and the Nieder-osterreichische 
Escompte-Gesellschaft, Vienna ; (3) the Banca Comerciala 
Romdnd, formed by the Anglo-Oesterreichische Bank and the 
Wiener Bankverein, of Vienna, in connexion with the Banque 
de l'Union Parisienne, Paris, and the Credit Anversois, Ant- 
werp ; this last bank, though under Belgian law, is of German 
origin, being an offshoot of the Darmstadter Bank ; (4) 
Marmorosch Blank & Cie, founded in 1905, partly with Rou- 
manian capital in alliance with the Pester Ungarische Kom- 
merzial Bank, of Budapest, the Bank f ur Handel und Industrie, 
Berlin, and the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft. There is no 
bank controlled by French capitalists. 

There is a small concern called the Banque d'Escompte de 
Bucharest, founded in 1898. The Credit Belgo-Roumain, 
founded in 1899, which had its offices at Braila and was 
interested in grain business, was amalgamated with the Banca 
Comerciala Romana in 1906. 


Roumania, though not a member of the Latin Union, has 
adopted the Union's system in almost all respects. The 
monetary unit is the leu, equivalent to the franc {§\d.) ; 
it is divided into 100 bani (or centimes). The standard is 
gold, and silver is legal tender up to only 50 lei (in France 
silver is legal tender up to 100 fr.). Gold coins of 20, 10, and 


5 lei are issued. Silver is coined in pieces of 5, 2, 1, and h lei 
(50 bani). There are also nickel coins of 20, 10, and 5 bani. 
Up to 1905 copper coins of 10 and 5 bani were in existence 
and in legal circulation, but they were withdrawn in that year. 
Copper coins of 2 and 1 bani were still in circulation to the 
value of 180,000 lei (£7,200) in 1912. 


Towns and villages — Roads — Railways — Telephones and telegraphs — 
Coast, harbours, and anchorages — Lighthouses — Navigation of the Rouma- 
nian Danube. 

Towns and Villages 

The sharpness of the division between the peasants and 
the educated classes is one of the most striking features of 
Roumanian life. The peasant -born who adopt a profession 
and rise in the social scale have almost of necessity to settle 
in the towns, and to accustom themselves to a style of life 
modelled upon that of Paris and other capitals. The abrupt 
change of habits, as might be expected, frequently has a very 
unfortunate effect upon their health. 

The populations of departmental capitals will be found in 
Chapter IV. 

Types of Towns 
The towns of Roumania are very varied in type. Craiova, 
for instance, a very ancient settlement, has irregular streets 
and consists almost entirely of small houses surrounded by 
gardens with wooden palings — even the hotels are built in 
gardens. The modern towns, such as Braila, have regular 
avenues and boulevards, high houses built side by side, and 
open squares. Though Craiova is a commercial centre 
with factories, a number of important buildings, and a popu- 
lation of 51,404, it has all the appearance of being an over- 
grown village. It covers an area of over 1,482 acres, which 
does not give more than about 197 inhabitants to the acre. 
Except for the avenue leading to the station, and the central 
quarters, where there are a few streets built in the European 
style, with houses without gardens and of several stories, 
the roads are muddy winding tracks amidst a labyrinth of 


isolated houses. Genuinely modern towns, similar in type to 
Braila, are to be found only on the Danube. Their develop- 
ment dates from about 1870, and a considerable proportion 
of their population consists of Jews and foreigners. The 
65,052 inhabitants of Braila occupy about 148 acres, which 
gives more than 2,470 inhabitants to the acre. Fully a 
quarter of this area is built over in modern style. 

Bucharest, like Ploesti, Buzau, and Ramnicu Sarat, belongs 
to an intermediate type. Certain quarters are entirely Western 
in appearance, with wide streets, imposing buildings, hand- 
some shops, open squares, public gardens, &c. The public 
buildings have been erected on a most lavish scale of expen- 
diture. Hotels, cafes, theatres, are all on the usual European 
patterns. Among the few peculiarly national features that 
remain in the central streets are the gay costumes of the 
peasants from the country and the picturesque garb of the 
Russian coachmen. Bucharest, however, owes its origin to 
the fusion of several large villages, and continues to extend 
by the same process. Immediately beyond the main avenues 
and streets are extensive suburbs, composed of small private 
houses, each enclosed in a garden. And beyond the limits of 
the city, in all directions, there are large residential villages, 
which are gradually being joined to it. It's population of 
about 350,000 occupies some 8,645 acres, which gives only 
247 inhabitants to the acre. 

Inns of a type where the traveller can obtain a good bed 
are few except in the larger towns and villages, and hotels 
have only been constructed of recent years in the capital, 
the larger cities, and at a very few resorts in the Carpathians 
which are of recent development ; as for instance Sinaia, 
Slanic, Vara tic. 

Distribution of Towns 

Carpathian Region. — Apart from domestic industries the 
Carpathian region is almost wholly without manufactures. 
ISuch towns as Targu Jiu at the entrance to the gorge of the 
Jiu, Ramnicu Valcea on the Oltu, and Buzau on the river of 


that name, owe their importance to their position on routes 
leading across the Carpathians and the advantages which 
they consequently possess as trading centres. Additional 
importance, it is true, is given to Ramnicu Valcea by the 
proximity of salt mines (see p. 155), while Calimanesti, farther 
north, is a well-known Roumanian spa. Azuga in the valley 
of the Prahova is an industrial town of some importance and 
has the most extensive woollen mills in the country, but 
the cloth produced is coarse in quality and is mainly used 
for military uniforms. Several cotton-mills have also been 
established in the town, and there are in addition glass-works 
and breweries. In Moldavia, Targu Ocna on the Trotus, Piatra 
on the Bistrita, and Neamtu on the river Neamtu, are all 
situated on the margin of the mountain zone, and control the 
various routes which lead into it. They serve as market towns 
for the regions with which they are in contact, but Piatra is 
also extensively engaged in the lumber industry. 

Region of the Hills. — The position of the chief towns of the 
region of the hills is mainly determined by factors of a geo- 
graphical nature. In Moldavia Jassy, which stands on the 
Bahluiu about ten miles from the Pruth, is the natural point 
of convergence for a large and fertile agricultural region ; it is 
also situated on an important route connecting the Sereth and 
the Pruth. Botosani, in the valley of the Drasleuca, is the 
centre of the well-populated agricultural districts in the north 
of the province, Roman, another market town of the same 
nature, lies at the confluence of the Moldeve and the Sereth. 
Barlad, on the river of the same name, serves the country 
farther to the south and is an important railway junction. In 
Wallachia Pitesti is the chief centre of trade for all the hill 
country drained by the Arges and its tributaries. Targoviste 
fulfils a similar function for the basins of the Dambovita and 
Ialomita. Ploesti is the outlet for the valleys of the Prahova 
and Teleajenu, and is consequently the capital of the oil 

The Plain. — Of the towns in the plain Craiova and Bucharest 
are the most important. Craiova is situated on the margin of 


the hill country, at the point where the route from the Iron 
Gates to the East crosses the Jiu. It has therefore become an 
important centre for the trade of the surrounding region. The 
geographical advantages of Bucharest are more difficult to 
determine, and at first sight there seems no apparent reason 
why the capital might not have been built elsewhere. Prob- 
ably its position to the south of the most fertile part of the 
hill region has been, apart from political conditions, the chief 
factor in its growth. 

The towns on the Danube have been determined by con- 
ditions of a somewhat different nature. The old Roman road 
along the river did not follow the left bank, which was low and 
marshy, but the right bank, which was higher and free from 
the danger of flooding. The different stages' on this route 
have become the Bulgarian towns of to-day, and when towns 
grew up on the Roumanian side of the river they naturally 
established themselves, as far as possible, opposite to those 
already in existence on the right bank. Calafat is opposite 
to Vidin, Turnu Magurele to Nikopol, Zimnicea to Sistov, 
Giurgiu to Rustchuk, and Calarasi to Silistra. Calarasi owes 
much to the developmentof the Baragan,and Giurgiu to the 
proximity of Bucharest. 

Braila, at the northern end of the Balta, and Galatz, just below 
the confluence of the Danube with the Sereth, are important 
Danubian ports. Braila serves the Wallachian region and is 
the chief wheat port of the country. Galatz still carries on 
much of the trade of Moldavia and exports considerable 
quantities of timber, not only from Moldavia but from Transyl- 
vania, Galicia, and Bukovina. For some time it appeared as 
if it were about to lose this trade partly to Braila, which has 
better facilities for loading timber, and partly to Odessa, owing 
to the competition of the Russian railways. A new dock was 
built, and was expected to check this movement, if it did 
not retrieve the trade already lost. On the position of the 
port of Constanta, see p. 189. 



Types of Villages 

{ There are two chief types of Roumanian village — the 
hamlet (catun) and the large village (sat). Completely 
isolated farms are rare. The catun is the strictly national 
and more usual type. The sat is seldom found except in the 
treeless plains, where, owing to scarcity of water and the 
need for deep wells or other exceptional source of water- 
supply, the villages tend to be fewer in number and larger 
in size. 

Exact estimates of the population of the catun can only 
be obtained for the administrative divisions so named, and 
these may include several isolated groups of habitations. 
The average population of such administrative catuns is 220 
to 490 in the hill region of 01 tenia, and from 260 to 710 in the 
corresponding region of Muntenia. In the plains the average 
population exceeds 700, and varies from 500 to 1,850. In 
Oltenia there are market towns of 8,000 inhabitants. 

The great majority of the large population on the banks of 
the Danube are also occupied in agriculture. Villages are 
located there because of the easy access to water in wells of 
small depth, with shelter of trees. While making agriculture 
their chief occupation, the peasants also, on occasion, eke out 
their livelihood by fishing. 

Dwellings. — -The dwelling of the Roumanian peasant is of 
wood or earth, and even in the hill country is only very occa- 
sionally of stone. The most common type is of wood, on 
a stone foundation, with a verandah surrounding the house, 
shaded by the projection of the roof. The family uses the 
verandah as a dining-room, and even sleeps in it in summer. 
In the mountains and high country of Oltenia the verandah 
is frequently raised 5 to 7 ft. above the ground, form- 
ing a sort of balcony, with a cellar beneath. In the hills the 
stable and granary face the house ; in the plains they are 
attached to it. The houses are always small, and are con- 
structed without regard to the laws of hygiene. The windows 
are small, and are generally stopped up with paper. Inside 



there are two chambers. The room into which the door opens 
(tinda) is the store-room, with the agricultural implements, 
food-supplies, &c. Generally it has no ceiling, and is open to 
the smoked roof. In one corner is a large stove (captor), with 
a hearth (vatra) m front, on which, at least in winter, a per- 
petual fire is smouldering. Behind the door there is likely to 
be a rasnita, a very primitive hand-mill, in which maize is 
ground whenever the milled flour gives out. From this outer 
room opens a second chamber, which serves as living- and 
sleeping-room, with benches to serve as beds, a large wooden 
table, and a stove similar to the one in the store-room. A large 
wooden box (lada) contains the linen and other valued 
possessions of the family.^ 

Usually there is a yard in front of the house and a garden 
behind, the whole being surrounded by a hurdle-work fence. 

To improve the sanitary conditions, the Government about 
1890 issued a building ordinance for peasants' houses. By 
this decree new houses must stand a foot and a half above 
the street-level. Each of the two rooms must be at least 
8 ft. high, be provided with two windows, and have a 
ground space of not less than 65 square ft. This enactment 
has already produced a very favourable change in the 
villages, especially on the Crown lands. 

The type of stone house, known as cula, which is wide- 
spread throughout the north of the Balkan peninsula, is 
occasionally to be met with in Roumania. It is square and 
massive, with blind walls pierced by a low door, and two or 
three slits instead of windows in the lower parts. Its balcony 
opens about 26 ft. above the ground. Such houses, which 
have the appearance of fortresses, frequently stand isolated 
at some distance from a village. They have been the dwellings 
of rustic boiers. Generally they are falling into disrepair, as 
the peasants prefer what they consider the greater homeliness 
and convenience of their narrower and less healthy cottages. 
f innkeepers. — The chief personage of the village is the inn- 
keeper (cdrciumar), who is also frequently the mayor. He 
exercises more influence, and has better social standing, than 


either the priest or the village teacher. His house is the best 
built. On Sundays and festivals the whole village assembles 
in front of it, and all day long there is dancing, to the accom- 
paniment of music provided by Gipsies. Besides wine and 
tuica, the innkeeper retails tobacco, matches, and salt, which 
are State monopolies. He is also grocer, ironmonger, and 
haberdasher. He purchases their produce from the peasants, 
and on occasion lends them money. Every one is under 
obligation to him, and he has very real power. Changes 
in the village routine are chiefly due to his initiative. It is 
from him that horses and guides, lodging and supplies, can 
best be obtained. ~~] 


The more important roads of Roumania are divisible into 
three main classes : (1) National chaussees, (2) Departmental 
chaussees, (3) Communal roads, according as they are main- 
tained at the expense of the State, the department, or the 
commune. Within the 30 years preceding 1915 immense 
advances were made, under State auspices, in all means of 
communicatioi) ; and in no direction was this improvement 
more marked than in the development of metalled roads, 
largely on the French model. The total length of roads in 
the kingdom was estimated in 1915 at 26,800 miles, of which 
national chaussees amounted to something less than a tenth. 

1. National Chaussees. — These are the main trunk roads 
of the kingdom, being maintained either entirely at State 
expense (as for instance those from Bucharest to neighbouring 
towns such as Ploesti and Giurgiu) or by State grant to the 
department which the road traverses. Near the Carpathians, 
where stone can be readily obtained, the surface is usually 
good ; but in proportion as distance from the Carpathians 
increases, so also does the difficulty of obtaining supplies of 
road metal. Consequently the surface of the national 
chaussees at considerable distances from the Carpathians — 
e. g. in the Baragan region — is not so good as that farther 
to the north. 



These national chaussees are, however, all excellently 
constructed and engineered, somewhat on the French model, 
which gives stretches of road of great straightness and uni- 
formity of slope between the terminal points. Settlements — 
often of considerable importance — which may happen to lie 
a little off the direct line are, however, disregarded, and 
have to be reached 03^ small branch roads ; so that it often 
happens, as in the north of France, that a national chaussee 
of which the surface is excellent for motor traffic, may be 
bad for marching because there are few facilities for obtaining 
supplies and shelter on the main road itself. 

Every national chaussee has cabins and permanent depots 
with residences of officials (whose duties are connected with 
road maintenance) at intervals along the course of the 
chaussee. National chaussees are invariably metalled, though 
the surface naturally degenerates in isolated or mountainous 
country — e.g. on the national chaussee up the Bistrit a valley 
NW. from Piatra. The metalling consists of crushed stone 
in or near the mountains. On the plain the surface of the 
roads is made of gravel packed tightly. In marshy country, 
tree branches are sometimes used as a basis for the road. 

The breadth of Roumanian highways cannot always be 
ascertained ; but a fairly typical example is the national 
chaussee from Caracal to .Craiova, which is 30 ft. broad. 
The minimum standard breadth for a national chaussee is 
23 ft. ; but it appears that this may be exceeded at discretion. 

2. Departmental Chaussees. — These are maintained at the 
expense of the department in which the chaussee runs, and 
vary considerably in character. Some are straight, and well 
engineered between important towns in the department, and 
compare favourably with some of the national chaussees, 
from which they differ only in respect of breadth and surface 
quality, as for instance the departmental chaussee from 
Braila to Foesani. Others wind and undulate considerably, 
linking together settlements along river valleys or in other 
fertile or populous districts, e.g. the chaussee from Oltenita 
to Mihailesti. 

ROADS 181 

The character of the road surface varies considerably, some 
departments being richer than others, or having readier 
access to supplies of road metal. In the departments of 
Ilfov and Prahova for instance, the departmental chaussees 
are generally in better condition as regards surface than in 
those of Ialomita and Botosani. 

Departmental chaussees are always passable for light carts 
unless otherwise stated ; they are of an average breadth of 
191 ft. 

3. Communal Roads. — These are only of the character of 
branch roads, lanes, and tracks connecting villages with each 
other and with the main roads. Some of those less used, 
especially on clay soil in the lowlands, are impassable for 
wheeled traffic in rainy seasons ; e.g. in W. Wallachia and 
parts of E. Moldavia. In the hilly or mountainous regions 
they are often difficult and degenerate into mere mule tracks, 
especially along the Transylvanian frontier. Others, how- 
ever, are good and scarcely to be distinguished from depart- 
mental chaussees. Communal roads rarely exceed 16| ft. in 

Fords are commonly passable for light carts and usually 
also for the pair-ox wagons much used in the country districts, 
at times of low or normal water, but floods may seriously 
interrupt traffic. Bridges have, however, replaced fords 
at all important crossings, with remarkable rapidity in 
recent years. 

Bridges. — General information with regard to bridges is 
difficult to obtain. Most of those on the national chaussees 
are of iron or reinforced concrete, especially where the road 
crosses a river near a railway bridge. There is also a fair 
number of stone bridges, especially in districts of the Car- 
pathian and Transylvanian foothills, where stone is readily 
obtained. There are also iron, stone and concrete bridges on 
most of the better-maintained departmental chausees, though 
they are often narrow and only admit wheeled traffic one way 
at a time. New bridges are almost invariably of reinforced 
concrete, and are capable of carrying traction-engines, but the 


majority of bridges on communal roads are stout log structures, 
of a strength usually sufficient for wagon traffic, but often only 
broad enough for the passage of one vehicle at a time. 

When new bridges are built the old wooden bridges are in 
many places left standing. The old and new bridges may be 
side by side, or may be 20 to 100 yards apart. 

The total number of bridges was given in 1913 as 41,200, of 
which 29,680 were of wood, and only 4,260 were permanent 
structures available for any traffic. Over the larger rivers 
there are floating bridges (some 30 in all) : they are unreliable 
in time of flood. 


Roumania is a country poorly supplied with railways, 
as compared with its fine road system. Broadly speaking, 
it may be said that there is simply one great trunk line, 
running from end to end of the country. Off the main line, 
one misses that close network of connecting lines which is 
found in Central and Western Europe. The first Roumanian 
railway was opened in 1859, but since then the development, 
although steady, has not been rapid. The total length of the 
railways in 1913-14 was 2,204 miles. This included 1,858 
miles of main lines, 314 miles of branch lines, normal gauge 
(4 ft. 8 1 in.), 20 miles of narrow gauge, and 13 miles of Russian 
gauge (5 ft.). During the war a number of new lines were 
built, largely narrow gauge, and in great part unconnected 
with the main system. At the end of July 1916 there were 
2,500 miles of line in all. 

The three natural features which govern communications 
in Roumania are the Carpathian range, the great system of 
plains, and the Danube. The trunk line runs along the plains, 
about midway between the Carpathian range and the Danube, 
and in Wallachia parallel to them. In Moldavia the line is 
parallel to the Carpathians, the Sereth, and the Pruth. 

In Wallachia a number of transverse lines, cutting the 
trunk line at right angles, run across the plains from the 
mountains to the Danube. These transverse lines use the 


valleys of the rivers, for instance the Lotru, the Olt, the Arges, 
which run down southwards from the Carpathian watershed. 
In Moldavia the transverse lines running towards the Sereth 
and Pruth are much less numerous. 

The three physical features above mentioned — the Car- 
pathians, the plains, the Danube — account for the technical 
difficulties, such as they are, in the way of Roumanian railway 
building. In the mountains, naturally, considerable diffi- 
culties are found. In this region, and seldom elsewhere, 
tunnelling has had to be done. The plains offer very few 
difficulties (but there is an important tunnel outside Galatz). 
Deep cuttings, however, are frequent, both in the mountains 
and elsewhere, and have proved troublesome owing to the 
amount of earth washed down into them in the rainy season. 
The transverse lines, as already stated, use the valleys running 
N. and S., and very little bridging has to be done. The trunk 
line, however, cuts these rivers at right angles, and therefore 
passes over many important bridges. 

The Danube and the Pruth have, so far, proved a most 
serious obstacle to railway communication. Except for the 
magnificent Cernavoda bridge, broken during the war, the 
Danube is not crossed at any point. Communication with 
the south side of the river is carried on by ferry. The Pruth, 
in the important area round its mouth, has only recently been 
crossed by the railway between Galatz and Reni. Farther 
up, communication is more feasible, although the marshy 
nature of the valley still presents great difficulties. 

There is no line along the Danube bank, which is too 
marshy to admit easily of such a thing. Moreover, as the 
river is navigable, such a line is neither necessary, nor indeed 
strategically suitable. The Pruth is not navigable for 
steamers. There is no railway along either bank, which is 
marshy on both sides. 

The Roumanian railway system is to be considered under 
two broad aspects — the Wallachian and the Moldavian. 
The Wallachian trunk line runs W., from Constanta on the 
Black Sea. It crosses the Danube by the Cernavoda bridge, 


and passes through Bucharest, to Varciorova, which is on the 
Danube, on the frontier between Roumania and Hungary. 
The Moldavian main line runs from S. to N., from Galatz on 
the Danube to Dorohoi, and is connected with Burdujeni, 
in the Carpathians, on the frontier of Bukovina. 

The Wallachian trunk line runs over an undulating plain 
following the base of the low hills. On either side it throws 
off branches to N. and to S. The Moldavian system is 
constructed differently. It consists actually of two parallel 
lines. The more westerly of the two, running N. from 
Focsani, follows the right bank of the Sereth. The more 
easterly line starts at Galatz, and also runs N., up the valleys 
of the Barlad and Jijia. There is an alternative line between 
Galatz and Barlad, up the Covurlui valley. It terminates 
at Dorohoi in the N. of Moldavia, and is connected with the 
Sereth valley line by three cross lines. Two other lines 
connect the Wallachian and Moldavian railways. 

The railway connexions of Rou mania with the surrounding 
countries are very important. The Wallachian system is 
connected with that of Central Europe at the following 
points : (1) Varciorova (Craiova-Turnu Severin- Varciorova 
-Temesvar). (2) Turnu Rosi or Roter Turm (Piatra-Turnu 
Rosi-Hermannstadt). (3) Predeal (Ploesti-Predeal-Kronstadt). 

The Moldavian railway system is connected with Tran- 
sylvania, the Bukovina, and Bessarabia (with break of gauge). 
(1) The connexion with Transylvania is made through the 
Gyimes pass (Adjud-Comanesti-Gyimes-Maros). (2) The con- 
nexion with the Bukovina is made through Burdujeni (Jassy- 
Pascani-Burduj eni-Czernowitz ) . 

With Bessarabia connexion is made by the Moldavian 
railways at (1) Ungheni (Jassy-Ungheni-Kishenev-Bender- 
Tiraspol-Odessa, with branch northward from the Pruth to 
Byeltsi). The Roumanian section of this route has the 
Russian railway gauge, and a good iron bridge spans the 
Pruth. The line on the Russian gauge (5 ft.) runs from the 
Pruth as far as Jassy, duplicating the standard-gauge line 
on this section. (2) A standard-gauge line connects Galatz 


with Reni lower down the Danube, whence there is a Russian- 
gauge line northward to Bender, &c. Between (1) and (2) 
there are narrow-gauge lines from Barlad eastward to the 
Reni-Bender line, which it was intended to convert to 
standard gauge, and from Husi NE. to the Jassy-Kishenev 
line. A line has been recently approved, and money voted 
for its construction, to run through northern Moldavia and 
to cross the Pruth between Radauti and Lipkani, connecting 
at the latter place with the northern Bessarabian line from 
Cernowitz . 

Through railway connexion is obtained with the Bukovina 
at Burdujeni (see above : Jassy-Pascani-Burdujeni-Cerno- 
witz). Burdujeni can also be reached by the Jijia valley 
line, via Dorohoi. The connexion with the Russian rail- 
ways is via Gzernowitz (Czernowitz-Novoselitsi-Oknitsa). 
Oknitsa is on the river Dniester, and from it lines run SE. 
to Odessa and NE. to Kiev. 

Except at Cernavoda, there is no through railway connexion 
across the Danube. Calafat has a steamer-ferry to Vidin in 
Bulgaria, 3 miles down stream ; thus a broken connexion 
exists : Craiova-Calafat-Vidin-Sofia. The rest of the branch 
lines running S. from the Wallachian trunk line all go to 
Danube ports. Only two of these branch lines end directly 
opposite important Bulgarian rail-heads ; these are the lines 
Costesti-Zimnicea (opposite Sistov), and Bucharest-Giurgiu 
(opposite Rustchuk). The line Constanta-Medgidia-Cerna- 
voda-Bucharest is the only railway crossing the Danube in 
Roumania, and providing direct communication with Bulgaria 
through Medgidia (Medgidia-Oborisachi- Varna). 

The lines are laid on a good road-bed of gravel, except in 
the mountain districts where crushed metal is used. In 
marshy districts, numerous in the plains, the embankments 
are built on foundations of rip-rapping, i. e. bundles of willows 
sunk below the surface. Sleepers are of Carpathian oak or 
beech, and are laid 2 ft. 1\ in. (80 centimetres) apart. The 
rails are flanged, and spiked to the sleepers without chairs. 
On the trunk lines they weigh 197 lb. ; on branch lines 


usually 110 lb. ; on a few small lines 75 lb. On trunk lines 
the minimum curve radius appears to be about 1,640 ft. ; 
elsewhere never less than 820 ft. 

The track is single over all the Roumanian railways except 
in the important sections Bucharest-Ploesti-Campina (59J 
miles) ; and Jassy-Cucuteni (6J miles) ; it is also reported 
to be doubled between Ploesti and Buzau (42§ miles). As 
there are hardly any tunnels except in the Carpathians it 
would be easy to double the track anywhere in Wallachia or 

Stations and haltas (halts) numbered 425 in 1914. They 
have no platforms or only very low ones. Halts, as usual, 
have no station-master, and trains call only by request. 
The railways are worked on the block system. Trains can 
pass at all stations and almost all halts. On main lines the 
blocks are from 6 to 10 miles long. Goods stations at the 
larger towns have plenty of sidings, and warehouses both 
closed and open. There are turn-tables only at the biggest 
stations : Bucharest has 6, Jassy 2, Targu Ocna, Roman, 
Pascani, and Bacau one each. 

The fuel used on the Roumanian railways consists of wood, 
petrol residues, and lignite. The lignite, which is produced 
in the country, is useful when combined with the petroleum 
residues. Engines on the main lines are convertible for the 
use of lignite or oil. Coal has to be imported. 

Repair-shops for the railways exist at Bucharest, Jassy 
(Nicolina), Pascani, Galatz, Turnu Severin, Constanta, and, 
for certain purposes, Pitesti. The Bucharest shops are the 
best, and can construct new wagons. 

The lines are owned by the State, with the exception of 
a few lines of purely local interest in the hands of depart- 
ments or private companies. All the rolling-stock is owned 
by the State except a few hundred oil- wagons and the wagon- 
lits of the International Sleeping-Car Company. All the 
engines and nearly all the wagons are foreign-built. There 
were in 1914, 887 engines. In March 1918 the Roumanian 
Government had at disposal 806 engines, but only 386 were 



in traffic. A report of December 1918 reduces this figure to 
120, in indifferent condition. Most of the main -line engines 
were built by the Budapeste Kesselfabrik. They are big, 
powerful tender-engines. In 1913-14 there were 36 royal and 
saloon cars, 1,464 passenger coaches, 153 mail vans, 140 goods 
vans, 8,844 covered trucks, 3,935 oil wagons, 9,124 open trucks, 
355 special railway trucks, and 43 snow ploughs. In March 
1918, 1,082 coaches, and 14,889 trucks and wagons remained 
in circulation. Passenger coaches on main trains are steam- 
heated ; on other trains coaches have fire-boxes burning coke 
under them. Watering tanks exist all along the lines. 

The administration of the railways, under the Minister of 
Public Works, is in the hands of the director-general of 
railways, who is assisted by a sub-director. Between twenty 
thousand and twenty-five thousand men are employed 

At the end of 1913 a comprehensive scheme of railway 
construction and improvement was brought forward, and in 
part put in hand. The principal lines under construction 
under this scheme are (1) the north and south line in the 
Dobruja, between Tulcea and Medgidia, (2) the north and 
south line in Moldavia, between Tecuci and Faurei. The 
other most important lines contemplated were the transverse 
line in northern Moldavia, referred to above ; Pascani-Neamtu 
(a westward continuation of the existing north Moldavian 
transverse line) ; Barlad-Dragomiresti (south Moldavian 
transverse line) ; Faurei-Urziceni-Bucharest, continuing the 
new north-and-south line through Moldavia (above) ; Tan- 
darei-Harsova-Constanta, with a bridge over the Danube at 
Harsova (an important scheme, supplying an alternative 
trans-Danubian route to that by the Cernavoda bridge) ; 
Bucharest-Caracal-Craiova, a new short route westward 
from the capital, on which work was reported in progress in 
June 1916. From Craiova a line was planned westward to 
Gruia on the Danube, with a bridge across the river there to 
connect with the Serbian line Prahovo-Nish. 


Telephones and Telegraphs 

The telephone has been installed throughout Roumania, 
and — chiefly for police and administrative purposes — the 
' mayor ' of the chief village in each commune is connected 
with the chief town of the district. The telegraph, on the 
other hand, has not been so widely developed. Thus in 
1911 there were 28,428 miles of telephone lines, including 
23,626 miles of interurban lines, and 868 central exchanges, 
but there were only 4,549 miles of telegraph lines. Constanta 
has (or had) a wireless station under the State maritime 
service, with a normal range of 240 nautical miles and normal 
wave length of 600 metres : call signal, CVS. There is 
a cable of the Osteuropaische Gesellschaft between Constanta 
and Constantinople. 

Coast, Harbours, and Anchorages 

The Roumanian frontier in the Dobruja starts on the 
Black Sea coast 13 miles NE. of the Bulgarian port of Varna. 
The coast from this point runs at first in an easterly direction, 
forming the northern shore of Kavarna Bay. It is bordered 
by a reef as far as Baljik, a village situated on a minor bay 
of the same name, which affords a place of refuge for vessels 
in northerly winds during the winter and from all bad weather. 
The anchorage is about £ mile offshore southward of the 
village, in 5-6 fathoms, mud and tough clay ; ample room. 
Telegraph station in village. Ample water supply from 
stream | mile west of village. 

Kavarna roadstead, similar to but less safe than Baljik, 
from which it lies 10 miles eastward. Grain store-houses. 

Cape Caliacra, about 7 miles eastward, rises 80 ft. Beyond 
it the coast turns northward and changes character from an 
indented line at the foot of hills to a lowland coast of little 
elevation, with few indentations and scanty shelter all the 
way to Odessa. From the cape northward to Cape Shableh, 
14| miles, the coast is flat-topped, steep, and rocky. Off 
Cape Shableh there are reefs. Beyond it, as far as Cape 


Midia the coast is low and monotonous, and backed at intervals 
by lagoons. 

Mangalia, 18| miles northward of Cape Shableh, is a small 
port with two breakwaters and a pier ; larger vessels generally 
anchor about a mile off shore in 8 fathoms. There are rocks 
along the shore near the town and landing is difficult with 
easterly winds. The best landing-place is northward of the 
low height on which the town is built. Roumanian naval 
works have been projected here. 

Cape Tuzla, of moderate height, with a few rocks off it, is 
12| miles northward of Mangalia. The coast beyond it 
consists of sandhills for about 3^ miles ; then appears the 
large depression of Lake Tuzla, separated from the sea by 
a low sandy isthmus. Between Cape Tuzla and Constanta 
shoal water extends in places over a mile from the shore. 

Constanta, 12 \ miles northward of Cape Tuzla, is the 
principal coastal port of Roumania (see p. 163), in distinction 
from the Danube ports of Braila and Galatz. Even the 
Central Powers admitted so much when in the preliminary 
declaration preceding the peace of Bucharest in 1918 they 
undertook to provide for the maintenance of a trade-route 
for Roumania via Constanta through the ceded territory of 
the Dobruja. With the exception of Sulina, at the Danube 
mouth, there is no considerable port northward of Constanta 
until Odessa is reached. Constanta is the nearest seaport 
by rail to Bucharest, and the only one with direct rail com- 
munication, via the Cernavoda bridge over the Danube. 

The harbour is formed by two breakwaters, and the eastern 
part has been dredged to 24-5 ft. The eastern and northern 
quays will accommodate about 30 large steamers, and there 
is additional space on the western side of the harbour. Ample 
sheds, warehouses, and grain-elevators are provided. A special 
basin was built for vessels loading petroleum (compare p. 152), 
together with oil storage tanks. Much destruction was done 
before the evacuation of the town by the Roumanians during 
the war. 

Westward of Constanta, the Danube makes a great bend 


northward, and at this point approaches most nearly to the 
Black Sea coast. Between the two — i. e. between Constanta 
and Cernavoda — the Dobruja is crossed by a well-marked 
depression. It is this natural line of communication which 
is followed by the railway, and the German conception of 
a Central European waterway revived the old idea of a ship- 
canal here, connecting Constanta with the Danube. An 
Austrian authority, writing in 1917, estimates the total length 
of such a canal at 30 miles or less (taking into account the 
existence of lagoons adjacent to the Danube and the coast), 
and the cost at about one -an d-three -quarter millions sterling. 
It is pointed out that the highest point in the depression is 
barely 200 ft., that only the crossing of the slight ridge along 
the coast would involve heavy engineering, and that the sea 
and canal route from Constantinople would save about 
250 miles to Cernavoda over the present sea and river route. 
An earlier investigation, however, showed that it would be 
difficult to supply the higher levels of the canal with water. 

Northward of Constanta the coast is generally low and 
sandy, with extensive lagoons behind it until the flat marshy 
delta of the Danube is reached. This, with Sulina, the 
important port at the Sulina mouth, is described in Hand- 
booh of the River Danube, ID. 01020, pp. 20-22, 26G, &c, and 
some further particulars will be found on pp. 192 seg. of the 
present volume. 


The lights are given in order from south to north. The 
distance (in nautical miles) at which a light is visible is in 
clear weather. 

Cape Galiacra, 43° 21 ' N., 28° 30' E. White tower. White 
Hashing light (one minute), 196 ft. above high water, visible 
20 miles. 

Cape Shableh, 43° 33' N., 28° 39' E. White octagonal stone 
tower. White fixed light, 98 ft. above high water, visible 
15 miles. 

Mangalia. (1) 43° 49' N., 28° 37' E. Red and white iron 


ramework on quay. White fixed light 50 ft. above high 
water, visible 15 miles. (2) Small white tower at outer end 
of northern breakwater. Two red fixed lights, vertical, 
34 and 28 ft. above high water, visible 4 miles. 

Cape Tuzla, 43° 59' N., 28° 42' E. White cylindrical iron 
tower over dwellings. White group flashing light 206 ft. 
above high water, visible 20 miles ; also fixed red light visible 
6 miles. Fog siren. 

Constanta. (1) 44° 10' N., 28° 41' E. White occulting 
light at head of east breakwater. (2) Green occulting light 
on western arm of new east breakwater (iron tower), 36 ft. 
above high water, visible 8 miles. (3) East head of west 
breakwater, red occulting light. Fog siren. 

Danube, St. George Mouth, 44° 51 ' N., 29° 37' E. Black 
cylindrical framework tower, 64 ft. high. White flashing 
light (5 sees.), 65 ft. above high water, visible 14 miles. Fog 

Danube, Sulina Mouth. (1) 45° 10' N., 29° 41' E. White 
cylindrical tower with green dome on south pier head. Alter- 
nating white and green occulting light (3 sees.), 38 ft. above 
high water. Extinguished in very cold weather, when 
a second red light, prohibiting entry, is shown under (2). 
Fog explosive. (2) White circular tower, red dome, on north 
pier head. Red fixed light 45 ft. above high water, visible 
8 miles. Fog bell. (3) Circular stone tower, green dome, 
58 ft. high. White fixed light at S. side of entrance, 70 ft. 
above high water, visible 14 miles. (4) Wooden building on 
piles, south side of channel. Green fixed light 10 ft. above 
high water. 

Danube, Midnight Branch (giving access to Ochakov mouth 
of Kilia Channel). (1) Northern entrance, leading lights on 
black masts with triangles, (a) front, 45° 27' N., 29° 41' E. ; 
red fixed light 14 ft. above high water, visible 8 miles, (b) rear, 
white fixed light 21 ft. above high water, visible 9 miles. 
(2) Southern entrance, leading lights on masts with black 
triangles, (a) front, red fixed light ; (b) rear, white fixed 


Serpent Island, 45° 16' N., 30° 14' S. White tower, 71 ft. 
high. White revolving light (30 sees.), 195 ft. above water, 
visible 18 miles. 

Navigation of the Roumanian Danube 

For a detailed itinerary and other particulars concerning 
the Danube, reference may be made to Handbook of the River 
Danube, I.D. 01020. It is not proposed to repeat the details 
here, but some additional references will be given concerning 
physical conditions, navigation, and effects of war conditions 
so far as it has been possible to ascertain them. 

In the regulated channel upstream from Sulina there was 
formerly a least depth of 22-24 ft., so that ocean-going 
vessels up to 6,000 tons could ascend with full cargoes to 
Galatz. Dredging is required to maintain this depth, and 
this has been neglected of recent years, so that at the end of 
1916 there was only 20 ft. of water on the bar, and one recent 
report refers to a minimum of 16 ft. higher up, and states 
that ships up to 4,200 tons use the channel up to the ports of 
Galatz and Braila (p. 176). Dredging, however, is believed 
to have been resumed. In the neglected Kilia and St. George 
channels through the delta the depth at low water varies 
from 5 to 33 ft. 

For the sections from Galatz up to Kladovo (on the Serbian 
shore a little above Turnu Severin), and Kladovo to Orsova 
(just above the Iron Gates and the Roumanian frontier), the 
following table is adapted from particulars in Seress, Donau 
Jahrbuch, 1917 : 



Kladovo -Or- 


+ 200 
+ 200 
+ 140 
+ 40 

+ 200 
+ 140 
+ 70 



[ Turnu Seve- 
f rin 

. Orsova 



Max. draug 






13-10 A 
6{- 8 

12 -13 
10 -12 

H- 9 













6 -71 




In portions of the river where shoals are liable to form, the 
minimum depths at low water are as follows : 

Between the mouth and Turnu Magurele, about 9 feet. 
„ Turnu Magurele and Bechetu, „ 1\ „ 

„ Bechetu and Calafat, „ 6 „ 

„ Calafat and Turnu Severin, „ 6 „ 

Low water lasts from 50 to 90 days (November to January), 
and high water (June or July) from 6 to 16 days. The high- 
water level varies from 20 to 23 ft. above that of low water, 
except in the rapids : in the Kazan defile, for example, it may 
reach 33 ft. 

The navigation of the Danube in winter and spring is 
rendered impossible at certain periods by the formation of ice 
and the floods which follow its melting. Having regard to 
the speed of the current, the lower and middle parts of the 
river are more favourable to ice-formation than the upper, 
but even in the lower parts variations in the period of freezing 
or the presence of ice are considerable. The following table 
illustrates this : 

Winter of No. of days ice-bound at 

Bazias (80 miles Sulina 

above Iron Gates). {river) 

1900-1 40 43 


1902-3 36 77 

1903^ 10 27 

1904-5 60 72 

1905-6 4 56 

1906-7 .41 69 

1907-8 36 41 

1908-9 ....... 53 78 


1910-11 ....;. 25 33 

1911-12 21 40 

1912-13 21 12 

1913-14 ...... 55 46 

1914-15 . 2 

As stated in Handbook of the River Danube, p. 30, there are 
winter harbours where vessels may take refuge when naviga- 



tion is blocked. The following additional particulars con- 
cerning Roumanian winter harbours may be given : 


Galatz (dock) 
Braila (dock) 
Giurgiu . 

Turnu Severin 



from Sulina. 



^ , 


Stat, miles. 



. 93 




. 107 




. 148 




. 306 




. 370 






At Orsova there is an ice-free shelter nearly 2 miles in 

As regards the gradient of the river, the average fall in the 
Iron Gates section is about 13 ft. per mile. Thence down to 
Turnu Severin it is about 9 inches per mile, and thereafter 
decreases from 2 inches per mile to practically nil (0.25 inch 
per mile). At high water the gradient is practically the 
same as at low water, except just below the confluence of 
tributaries, where it is steeper at high than at low water. 
(Cf. Handbook of the River Danube, p. 19). 

For freight traffic on the whole river from Sulina up to 
Regensburg (apart from the ocean-going vessels which may 
ascend to Galatz and Braila), the most suitable type of vessel 
is considered to be a barge of about 650 tons (metric) capacity. 
In the rapids from Orsova up to O-Moldova the capacity 
of these vessels must be reduced to 85 per cent. (550 tons) 
in high water or to 76 per cent. (490 tons) in low water. 
Barges of 1,000 tons capacity have been introduced, but they 
can only be used to their full capacity below the Iron Gates. 
The following table illustrates the ability of steam tugs to 
handle iron barges of 650-750 tons capacity on the lower 
river under various conditions : 



lalatz - Braila- 
Turnu Severin 
(Iron Gates *) 

H.P. of Tug. 



Number. Load (tons). 

10 6,000 

8-10 5,000 

6-7 3,600 

3-4 2,000 







ron Gate Canal 











ron Gate, old 






ron Gate Canal, 
or old fairway 
with 13 ft. water. 










* Barges jnay be taken fully loaded up to the Iron Gates, but above 
Turnu Severin must be taken in two or three lots, 
t 0n ty with assistance of special towing arrangements (for which see 

The walled channel or canal constructed at the Iron Gates, 
while greatly improving the river so far as its bed and depth 
was concerned, had the effect of increasing the speed of the 
current through the channel : a speed of 10 to 12 ft. per 
second is given in some accounts ; others place it as high as 
16 ft. per second. From the above table it may be gathered 
that, roughly speaking, a tug of 1,000 h.p. is required to haul 
a barge with 500 tons load through the canal in an hour. 
To facilitate transit here a tug hauling on a fixed cable was 
established, and could take two of the 650-ton barges through 
the canal in 1J hr. This vessel was captured by the Serbians, 
and the Germans replaced it by a towing railway and loco- 
motive on the right bank. This contrivance was apparently 
not wholly successful, since, although it was used to assist 
large steamers through the canal, and shortened the time of 
their passage, it was necessary to cast off the tow before 
reaching slack water above the canal, because the railway 
made too wide an angle with the course of vessels. 

The Danube was made an international waterway under 
the Treaty of Paris, 1856, when an international or European 



Commission, representing Great Britain, France, Austria, 
Prussia, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey, was set up to improve 
the navigation from Isaccea (63 miles from the mouth) 
downward, and to police the river. Prussia and Sardinia 
were subsequently replaced by Germany and Italy. A Com- 
mission of riverain States was to work out details for this 
work, and submit them to the international Commission, 
which was then to dissolve, the riverain Commission remaining, 
but in point of fact the latter never came into existence. 
The Danube Convention (Donau-Akte) of 1857 gives the 
detailed legislation on the above questions. The Galatz 
Convention of 1865 entered into details concerning dues, 
the appointment of officials and their powers, and provided, 
among other matters, for the intervention of warships to 
enforce police measures if necessary, and for the neutrality, 
in case of war, of all works undertaken by the Commission, 
and of its funds and officials. By the Treaty of London, 
1871, the term of the European Commission was extended 
for twelve years. At the Congress of Berlin, 1878, the terms 
of all previous conventions were applied to Bulgaria, and 
a Roumanian delegate was added to the Commission. Under 
this convention, all fortifications from the Iron Gates to the 
mouth of the river were to be removed, and none to be 
established anew. Vessels of war were not to pass below 
the Iron Gates, except light craft for police and customs 
purposes. Warships stationed at the mouth might ascend 
the river to Galatz. Roumania was to be the supreme Power 
on the river from Galatz to the mouth, and navigation im- 
provements at and above the Iron Gates were entrusted to 
Austria-Hungary (they were subsequently delegated to 
Hungary). The Galatz Convention of 1881 further defined 
the positions of officials, allowed the Commission to act as 
a Court of Appeal in cases of dispute, and gave it the direct 
control of finances. The Treaty of London, 1883, extended 
the sphere of the Commission upstream to Braila ; prolonged 
its term for 21 years, and thereafter automatically for terms 


of three years, unless any contracting Power should propose 
any modification in the arrangement ; and defined the position 
of the Commission in respect to the Kilia branch, where it 
was to have no power over portions bounded on both sides 
by Russian or Roumanian territory, while other sections 
should be under the control of the Russian and Roumanian 
delegates on the Commission. Navigation and police regula- 
tions elaborated by the European Commission together with 
representatives of Serbia and Bulgaria were declared applic- 
able to the section of the river from the Iron Gates to 

Austria made a trade convention with Bulgaria in 1896, 
establishing freedom of trade and navigation between the 
two countries, and conventions with Russia (1908) and 
Roumania (1909) guaranteeing equal treatment to the ships 
of the respective nationalities in the Danube. 

By the Peace of Bucharest, 1918, the Central Powers sought 
to obtain control of the Danube navigation. Roumania was 
to conclude a new Danube Navigation Convention with 
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The 
European Commission was to be maintained as the Danube 
Mouth Commission, dealing with the river from Braila 
(inclusive) downward, but it was to consist only of repre- 
sentatives of States bordering the Danube and the European 
coasts of the Black Sea. Roumania was to guarantee free 
navigation to the ships of the other contracting parties. 
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Roumania 
were to have the right to maintain warships on the river, and 
each of the Powers concerned in the Danube Mouth Com- 
mission was to have the right to keep two light warships as 
guardships at the mouth. Other measures included the 
' lease ' of the dock at Turnu Severin at a nominal rent, and 
the establishment of German docks there and at Giurgiu. 
A formal protest against the measure establishing the new 
Commission was lodged with Roumania by Great Britain, 
France, and Italy, on the ground that it technically con- 
troverted previous conventions for the constitution of the 


European Commission and the navigation of the river, and 
they refused to recognize any arrangements made inde- 
pendently of them regarding the navigation. 

During the Austro-German occupation the whole naviga- 
tion, German, Austrian, and Hungarian, was brought under 
the control of a central office at Vienna. 


The rapid development of natural resources and means of 
communication in Roumania during recent years has tended 
to make most of the existing maps obsolete. Art aria's 
Eisenbahnkarte von Osterreich-Ungarn, which includes Rou- 
mania and all the Balkan States except Greece, has been 
revised to the year 1917. Its scale is 1 : 1,400,000 ; it is 
purely a railway-map, and makes no attempt to give roads, 
or topographical detail. The best map recently issued is 
that prepared from a survey made by Colonel Teodorescu, 
and dated 1917. It deals only with the part of Roumania 
west of longitude 25° E., or roughly, west of a line drawn 
north and south through Pitesti. The scale is 1 : 700,000, 
and the only trigonometrical points given are among the 
summits of the Carpathians. 

It is in this part of Roumania, to the west of a line drawn 
north and south through Pitesti, that the available maps are 
most defective. They are all based entirely upon the Austrian 
Staff Maps, 1 : 200,000. The Austrian Staff Maps for Rou- 
mania are very rough, and in many places, for instance in the 
south-west of Roumania, are apt to be misleading. A number, 
of locally inrportant villages do not appear, while several 
villages which are marked do not exist at the points indicated. 

For the remainder of Roumania (east of 25° E.) the maps 
prepared in the country are on the whole good. The best is 
the 1 : 100,000 of Serviciul Geographic al Armatei. This was 
made in 1890, but has been revised to the year 1913. These 
maps, however, do not cover the whole of the area east of 
Pitesti : in Moldavia they do not extend north of Tecuciu 
(about latitude 46° N.). They are complete both for the Old 
and New Dobruja. 

The Roumanian 1 : 200,000 maps cover the whole of 
Moldavia and the extreme easterly provinces of Wallachia. 


Thej- were prepared in 1891. The 1 : 50,000 maps of the 
Stat Major General al Armatei give full information about the 
physical features over the greater part of the country, east of 
Bucharest. Some sheets of these maps have been revised to 
the year 1901. 

For the Carpathian frontier there are Austrian maps on 
a scale of 1 : 75,000. These should be used along with more 
modern sources. They were mostly prepared before 1889, 
with partial revisions up to the year 1911. 

The only large-scale maps covering the whole of Roumania 
are therefore the Austrian Staff Maps, 1 : 200,000. As already 
indicated, they are of extremely varying value. As a rule 
it may be taken that the sheets for the Carpathians, for 
Moldavia, and for the Dobruja, are the best. 

Roumania is still very poorly supplied with topographical 


Adjud, 184 
Adrianople, Treaty of 

(1829), 120 
Agriculture, 136 
Albanian ethnographic 

influence, 57 
Alexander Morusi, 120 
Alfold, 86 
Alphabet, 81 
Amaradia R., 28 
Andreiasi, 155 
Animals, 53 
Aninoasa, 156 
Apponyi Law, 8(5 
Arbanas, 151 
Arges, dept., 60 
Arges R„ 20, 25, 29, 64, 

66, 183 
Armasesti, 42-48 
Armenians, 72, 76, 91, 

92, 96 ; 99 
Arumani : see Kutso 

Asses, 142 

Ausgleich of 1867, 86 
Austro-Hungarians, 90 : 

■see also Magyars 
Austru, 38 

Averescu, General, 130 
Azuga, 175 

Babadag, 91 

Bacau, 60, 150, 159, 186 

Bacau, dept., 60 

Baciu, 143 

Bahluiu R., 22, 27 

Bahna, 157 

Baicoiu, 150, 151 

Baljik, 188 

Balkan War (1913), 127 

Balota Mt., 13 

Balta, 27, 49 

Banat, 56, 87, 114 

Bani, 171 

Banks, 169 

Baragan, 24, 25, 66, 140, 

Barlad, 60, 175, 187 
Barlad R., 22, 27, 31, 

Barley, 136, 166 
Basarab family, 115 
Basil the Wolf : see 

Vasile Lupul 
Bazias, 193 
Bechetu, 193 
Bender, 184, 185 
Berevoesti, 156 
Berlin, Congress of 

(1878), 125 
Berthelot, General, 131 
Berzun^u Mt., 16 
Bessarabia, 9, 34, 85, 89, 

110,125,135,137, 184 
Bezpopovitsi, 76 
Birds, 54 

Bistricioara R., 30 
Bistrifa Mts., 17 
Bistrifa R., 27, 28, 29, 

30, 148, 180 
Bogdan, 115 
Boiana L., 27 
Boxer, 71, 89, 104, 115, 

121, 178 
Bordeni, 150, 151 
Botosani, 42-48, 60, 94, 

175, 181 
Botosani, dept., 60 
Braila, 42-48, 60, 94, 

158, 163, 174, 176, 

180, 189, 192, 194, 

195, 196, 197 
Braila, dept., 60, 140 
Branceni, 158 
Brdnzl, 71 
Bratianu I., 123, 126 
Bratianu, I. C, 127, 

128, 133 

BreotaMt., 13 
Bridges, 181 
Bucegi Mts., 10, 14 s 
Bucharest, 37, 42-48, 

57, 59-61, 79, 85, 94, 

118, 132, 158, 174, 

176, 179, 184, 185, 

186, 187 
Bucharest, Peace of 

(1918), 133, 189, 197 
Bucharest, Treaty of 

(1913), 127 
Budget, 105 
Buffaloes, 142 
Building stone, 157 
Bukovina, So, $$, 116; 

Bulgaria, 85 
Bulgarians, 57, 59, 90, 

96, 100 
Bumbata, 31 
Burdujeni, 163, 184, 185 
Bustenari, 151 
Buzau,60, 150, 153, 174, 

Buzau, dept., 60 
Buzau Mts., 10, 15 
Buzau R., 31, 64 
Byeltsi, 184 

Cables, 134, 188 - 

Cdciula, (59 

Calafat, 163, 176, 185, 

Calarasi, 60, 176 
Calarasi L., 27 
Calea liu Trajan, 113 
Calendar, 35 
Caliacra, Cape, 188, 190 
Caliacra, dept., 61 
Calimanesti, 42-48, 175 
Caline$ti, 150 
C&lm&$ara R., 25, 26 



Calvinists, 76 
Campina, 150, 151, 160, 

Campulung, 18, 42-48, 

57, 60, 156 
Caracal, 42-48, 60, 180, 

Cdrciumar, 178 
Carol, King, 80, 123, 

125, 128 
Carp, M., 128 
Carpathian Mts., 9, 10, 

34, 37, 52, 53, 57, 63, 

174, 179, 182, 183 
Cfitun, 177 
Ceahlau Mts., 11, 17 
Cement, 160, 166 
Cerna Mts., 11 
Cerna R., 11 
Cernavoda, 131, 152, 

155. 183. 185. 189. 190 
Chamber of Deputies, 


Changos, 59 

C'heile, 14 

Ciobani, 144 

Coal, 156, 166 

Coanda, General, 135 

Cogalniceanu, 122 

Cojoc, 69 

Colza, 141 

Comfinesti, 153, 184 

Comarnic, 160 

Communes, 108 

Constanta, 34, 61, 93, 
133, 141, 152, 155, 
163, 183, 185, 186, 

187. 188. 189. 190. 191 
Constanta, dept. 61 
Constantin Brancovanu, 


Constantin Ipsilanti,120 

Constantinople, 188, 190 

Copper, 157 

Costesti, 185 

Council of Ministers, 105 

Courts, 111 

Covurlui, dept., 60 

Covurluiu valley, 184 

Coza Mt. 16 

Craiova, 42-48, 57, 60, 
131, 158, 173, 175, 
180, 184, 185, 187 

Cricov R., 30 
Crivet, 38 

Crown domains, 147 
Cucuteni, 186 
Cula, 178 
Cuna R., 29 
Cuptor, 178 
Cuza, 122, 144 
Czernowitz, 184, 185 


Dacia, 55, 81, 113 

Dambovi^a, 150 

Dambovifa, dept., 60 

Dambovija R., 14, 29, 66 

Danube R., 10, 26, 34, 
35, 49, 54, 113, 130, 
134, 141, 146, 163, 
176, 177, 182, 183, 
189, 190, 191, 192 

Danube Convention 
(1857), 196 

Darmanesti, 157 

Debt, 168 

Deli Orman, 33 

Departments, 60, 107 

Diseases, 61, 72 

Dobrich, 61, 130 

Dobruja, 32, 59, 61, 62, 
90, 93, 97, 109, 125, 
130, 133, 141, 146, 
187, 188, 189, 190 

Doftana, 155 

Doftana R., 30 

Doljiu, dept., 60, 140 

Dorna R., 30 

Dorohoi, 42^8, 60, 184, 

Dorohoi, dept., 60 

Dragomiresti, 187 

Dranceni, 31 

Durostor, dept., 61 


Education, 77 
Elizabeth, Queen, 124 
European Commission, 

Exports, 160 

Fagaras Mts., 10, 13, 41 
Falciu, dept., 60 

Faltieeni, 60 
Faurei, 187 
Ferdinand, King, 129 
Filipescu, N., 128, 129 
Filipesti Padure, 151, 

Finance, 168 
Fishes, 54, 148 
Flamanda, 194] 
Flax, 141 
Focsani, 42-48, 60, 180, 

Fords, 181 
Forestry, 147 
French, 90 ; influence, 

58, 81, 97 
Frtmtasi, 68 

Galatz, 31, 32, 60, 94. 

148, 158, 163, 176, 

183, 184, 186, 189, 

192, 194, 195, 196 
Galatz Convention 

(1865), 196 
Galatz Convention 

(1881), 196 
Galcescu, 12 
Galleon, 157 
Geographical Society, 80 
Germans, 59, 87, 90, 96, 

99, 124, 126, 129, 153, 

Gheorghe Bibescu, 121 
Gilort R., 28 
Gipsies, 59, 91, 92, 95, 

Giurgiu, 37, 60, 155, 


Goats, 142 
Godeanu Mts., 11 
Gorjiu, dept., 60 
Goths, 114 
Government, 101 ; local, 

Grecilor L., 27 
Greeks, 57, 59, 83, 90, 

96, 100, 119 
Grigore Ghica, 120 
Gruia, 187 
Gura Ocnitei, 151 



Gura Vaii, 160 
Gyimes pass, 184 


Harsova, 131,187 
Health, 71 
Hemp, 138, 139 
Herculesbad, 11 
Hermannstadt, 184 
Horses, 142 
Hospodar, 117 
Hotels, 174 
Humidity, relative, 48 
Hungary, 85, 86 
Husi, 32, 60, 82, 185 

Ialomifa, dept., 60, 140, 

Ialomi^a R.. 25, 29, 64, 

66, 153 
Iezeru Mt., 13 
Ilfov, 158, 181 
Ilfov, dept., 60, 66 
Illiteracy, 77 
Imports, 160 
Inchisoari, 149 
Inns, 174, 178 
loan Sturdza, 120 
Ionescu, Take, 127, 128, 

129, 133 
Iron, 157 
Iron Gates, 167, 176, 

194, 195, 196, 197 
Iron Gates Canal, 195 
Istri^a Mt., 21 
Italian influence, 81, 83 
Italians, 90 
Itari, 69 

Jassy, 60, 61, 79, 82, 85, 
94, 116, 159, 175, 184, 
185, 186 

Jassy, dept., 60 

Jeremia Movila, 117 

Jews, 59, 72, 76, 90, 92, 
100, 146 

Jidava, 156 

Jijia R., 27, 31, 184 

Jiu R., 10, 12, 28 

Judiciary, 110 

Jugur, 156 
Junimea, 99 
Junimisti, 99 


Kaliakra : see Caliacra 
Kaolin, 157 
Karaites, 77, 93 
Karst, 14 
Kavarna, 188 
Kavarna Bay, 188 
Kazan defile, 193 
Kiev, 185 
Kilia Channel, 191, 192, 

King, 101 

Kiselev, Count, 120 
Kishenev, 184, 185 
Kladovo, 192 
Kronstadt, 184 
Kuchuk Kainarji, 

Treaty of, 119 
Kutso Vlachs, 85, 89 

Lada, 178 

Lahovary I., 128 

Laloaia, 157 

Land-tenure, 144 

Language, 81, 92, 98 

Latin ethnographic ele- 
ments, 58 
language, 81 

Legislation, 102 

Leota Mt., 14 

Leu, 171 

Lighthouses, 190 

Lignite, 156 

Lipkani, 185 

Lipovans, 72, 76, 97 

Literature, 83, 98 

Lityre, 57 

Live-stock, 142 

Loess, 22, 65 

London, Treaty of 
(1871), 196 

London, Treaty of 
(1883), 196 

Lotru Mts., 10, 13 

Lotru R., 13, 29, 183 

Lucacesti, 151 

Luncovi^a R., 18, 29 

Lutherans. 76 


Macedonia, 83, 85, 89 

Macin, 194 

Mackensen, 131 

Magnetic variation, 3<> 

Ma gura Casinului, l(i 

Magyars, 86, 115 

Maiorescu, M., 128 

Maize, 136, 166 

Malaria, 72 

Mamuliga, 70, 137 

Mandra, 12 

Mangalia, 91, 189, 190 

Manufactures, 157 

Mara mures, 57 

Marasesti, 159 

Marcomannic War, 114 

Marghiloman, M., 128, 
129, 133 

Margineanca, 156 

Maros, 184 

Maros R., 130 

Matei Basarab, 117 

Medgidia, 34, 91, 185, 

Mehedin^i, 18, 64 

Mehedinfi, dept., 60 

Michael Racovi^a, 118 

Michael the Brave : see 
Mihai Viteazul 

Midia, Cape, 189 

Midnight Branch (Dan- 
ube), 191 

Mihailesti, 180 

Mihai Viteazul, 117 

MilcovR., 10 

Millet, 138, 166 

Mircea eel Mare, 116 

Mocani, 144 

Moesia, 113 

Mohammedans, 72, 77 

Moinesti, 153 

Moldavia, 17, 22, 30, 
35, 60, 61, 62, 65, 68, 
83, 92, 93, 108, 114, 
115, 122, 138, 146, 
148, 159, 175, 181, 
182, 183, 185, 187 

Moldova R., 27, 30 
Molokani, 76 

Money, 171 
Moreni, 150, 151 
Mosneni, 68 



Mostistea R., 25, 66 
MotruR., 11,28 
Mulberry, 139 
Mules, 142 

Municipal councils, 108 
Muntenia, 10, 20, 57, 60, 

61, 62, 64, 93, 114, 

115, 146, 177 
Muscel, dept., 60 

Neagra R., 30 
Neam^u, 175, 187 
Neam^u, dept., 60 
Negoi Mts., 13 
Newspapers, 84 
Nicholas Mavrogordato, 

Nicolina : see Jassy 
Nikopol, 176 
Nish, 187 
Novoselitsi, 185 

Oancea, 31 
Oats, 136, 166 
Obor, 143 
Oborisachi, 185 
Ochokov mouth, 191 
Ocnele Mari, 155 
Odessa, 184, 185, 188, 

Odobesti Mt., 16 
Oil : see Petroleum 
OituzMts., 11 
Oknitsa, 185 
Olt, dept., 60, 140 
Olt R., 10, 28, 183 
Oltenia, 10, 17, 19, 23, 

57, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 

93, 114, 177 
Oltenifa, 180 
Olte^u R., 18, 29, 30 
O -Moldova, 194 
Omu Mt., 14 
Opinci, 09 
Organic Law, 121 
Orsova, 130, 192, 194 
Orthodox Church, 72, 

87, 88, 101, 112 
OsleaR., 11 
Oxen, 142 

Polar ie, 69 
Pincesti, 42-48 
Paringu Mts., 10, 12 
Paris, Treaty of (1856), 

122, 195 
Pascani, 184, 185, 186, 

Pasture, 139 ' 
Pellagra, 72 
Petroleum, 126, 149, 

162, 166 
Petroleum Agreement, 

134, 153 
Petru Schiopul, 117 
Phanariot regime, 118 
Piatra, 60, 148, 159, 175, 

180, 184 
Piatra Closani, 11 
Piatra Craiului, 14 
Piatra Prisloapele, 14 
Pieptar, 69 
Pigs, 142 

Pitesti,60, 159, 175, 186 
Plashi, 109 

Ploesti, 60, 158, 159, 
174, 175, 179, 184, 
Podgoria, 51 
Poenari, 156 
Poiana, 150, 155 
Ponoarele, 18 
Potior, 19 
Popovitsi, 76 
Population : 

distribution, 62 

foreign, 90 

numbers, 59 

origin, 55 

physical types, 57 

social conditions, 67 
Posts, 134 

Prahova, 150, 181, 187 
Prahova, dept., 60 
Prahova R., 21, 30, 64, 

148, 160 
Predeal, 15, 163, 184 
Press, the, 84 
Protestants, 72, 76 
Pruth R., 22, 27, 31, 

182, 183, 184, 185 
Putna, dept., 60 

'Putna R., 18 
; Pyrites, 157, 160 

I Radau^i, 185 
j Railwavs, 182 
Rainfall, 40, 46 
Ramnicu R., 31 
Ramnicu Sarat, 60, 174 
Ramnicu Sarat, dept., 

Ramnicu Valcea, 60, 174 
Rapiceni, 159 
Blsnita, 178 
Rau Doamnei, 29 
Red Tower Pass, 28, 

113, 131 
Regensburg, 194 
Religion, 72 
Reni, 31, 183, 186 
Roads, 179 
Roman, 60, 159, 175, 

Roman, dept., 60 
Romana^i, dept., 60, 140 
Roman Catholics, 72, 76 
Roscolnitschi, 76 
Roseti, M., 128 
Rosiile, 12 
Roter Turm : see Turnu 

Roter Turm (pass) : see 

Red Tower 
Roumanian Academy, 

79, 98 
Rusalii, 75 
Russians, 90, 97, 100, 

Rustchuk, 17<>, 185 
Rye, 136 

St. George Channel, 192 
St. George 'Mouth 

(Danube), 191 
Salt, 155, 166 
Sat, 177 

Schitu Ialomija, 14 
Scliveiu, 12 
Sculeni, 32 
Senate, 103 

Serban Cantacuzino, 118 
Serbia, 85 



Serbians, 90 

Sereth R„ 9, 22, 27, 30, 
132, 182, 183, 184 

Serpenita, 32 

Serpent I., 125, 192 

Shableh, Cape, 188, 190 

Sheep, 142 

Shepherds, 143 

Shipping, 162 

Silistra, 61, 131, 176 

Silk, 141, 160 

Sinaia, 42-48, 160, 174 

Sistov, 176, 185 

Skoptsi, 76, 97 

Slanie, 155, 174 

Slfinic valley, 21 

Slatina, 60 

Slav ethnographic influ- 
ence, 56, 57, 89 
language, 81, 83 
history, 115 

Snow, 41 

Sofia, 185 

Solont, 151 

Sotanga, 156 

Span, 69 

Stdnii, 143 

St&pdn, 143 

Stefan eel Mare, 116 

Stephen the Great : see 
Stefan eel Mare 

Stergar, 70 

Strehaia, 42-48, 57 

Striharef, 42-48 

Strung a, 143 

Suceava, 116 

Suceava, dept., 60 

Sugar, 166 

Sugar-beet, 138 

Sulina, 163. 189, 190, 
192, 194 

Sulina Mouth (Danube), 

Sulphur, 157 

Sulphuric acid, 160 

Sunflower, 139 
Susija R., 18, 28 

Szeklers, 59 

Targoviste, 60, 118, 153, 

Targu Jiu, 60, 174 
Targu Ocna, 42-48, 155, 

175, 186 
Tatars, 91,92, 96, 99 
Tecuci, 60, 187 
Tecuci, dept., 60 
Teleajenu R., 21, 30, 64 
Telega, 155 
Telegraphs, 134, 188 
Teleorman, dept., 60, 

66, 140 
Teleorman R., 66 
Telephones, 134, 188 
Temesvar, 184 
Temperature, 37, 43-45 
Tetcani, 151 
Teslui R„ 24 
Timber, 166 
Time, local, 35 
Tinda, 178 
Tintea, 150, 151 
Tiraspol, 184 
Tismana R., 28 
Tobacco, 141 
TopologR.,20, 29 
Tor z burger Pass, 15 
Transvlvania, 56, 59, 

83, 85, 86, 88, 97, 99, 

114, 129, 184 
Trotus R., 8, 30, 148 
Trajan, 55, 113 
Tuica, 137 
Tulcea, 61, 141, 187 
Tulcea, dept., 61 
Turks, 59, 90, 96, 99, 116 
Turnu Magurele, 42-48, 

60, 176, 193 
Turnu Rosi, 184 
Turnu Severin, 42-48, 

57, 60, 113, 158, 184, 

186, 193, 194, 195, 197 
Tutova, dept., 60 
Tutrakan, 131 
Tuzla, Cape, 189, 191 
TuzlaL., 189 


Tandarei, 187 
TarcauMts., 1 


Ungheni, 31, 184 
Universities, 79 

Urda Pass, 12 
Urziceni, 187 


Valcea, dept., 60 
Valea Calugiireasca , 160 
Valea Copcii, 156 
Varatic, 174 
Varciorova, 184 
Varna, 185, 188 
Vasile Lupul, 117 
Vaslui, 60 
Vaslui, dept., 60 
Vatrn, 178 
Vedea R., 25, 6(5 
Vegetation, 49 
Vidin, 176, 185 
Vienna, 198 
Village councils, 108 
Vine, 139, 141 
Vlachs : see Kutso 

Voivod, 115 
Vrancea Mts., 11, 15 
Vulcan Mts., 10, 12 
Vulcan Pass, 12 


Wallachia, 9, 11,23, 28, 
35, 41, 50, 56, 57, 60, 
65, 68, 83, 92, 108, 
115, 122, 138, 159, 
181, 182 ; see also 
Muntenia, Oltenia 

Wallachia, Great : see 

Wallachia, Little : see 

Water-power, 160 

Wheat, 136, 166 

Winds, 38, 47 

Yugo-Slavs, 86, 81 

Zberoaia, 31 
Zimnicea, 176, 185 





This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

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